Mergers and Acquisitions
Due to a growing population west of the Rocky Mountains, the company decided to construct its fifth plant in California. The plant was located a few miles southeast of Oakland in Union City. It began
operations in 1951 and produced pipe in sizes 4 inch through 12 inch. Later the capability was expanded to include 16 inch and then 18 inch, 20 inch, and 24 inch pipe.
In 1952 U.S. Pipe merged with Sloss-Sheffield Steel and Iron Company, a major coke and pig iron supplier, with coal mines and manufacturing facilities in Birmingham, Alabama. The next year U.S. Pipe's
corporate offices were moved from the McNeal mansion in Burlington, New Jersey to Birmingham.
As technology advanced, the need for pig iron in the manufacture of Ductile Iron pipe decreased. The decision was made to close the old Sloss-Sheffield blast furnace operation. Today, U.S. Pipe recycles
waste material (ferrous scrap) into Ductile Iron pipe for use in water and wastewater systems throughout the world, which improves the living conditions for millions of people.
The coal mining operations (Jim Walter Resources, Inc.), and the coke, chemicals, and mineral wool facilities (Sloss Industries, Inc.), continue to operate as separate wholly owned subsidiaries of Walter
In 1961 U.S. Pipe acquired the T.C. King Pipe and Fittings Company located in Anniston, Alabama. During the 1970's the Anniston Plant expanded into outside commercial sales and in 1987 the name of the
plant was changed to U.S. Castings.
The assets and business of the A.P. Smith Manufacturing Company, located in East Orange, New Jersey, were acquired in 1966. This company was founded in 1896 and since that time has been a producer of
valves, fire hydrants, special equipment for making service connections and valve insertions under pressure. Operations were relocated to Chattanooga, Tennessee in two steps, with final completion in
U.S. Pipe entered the pattern and specialized tooling business in 1967 through the purchase of the assets of Southern Precision, Inc., located in Irondale, Alabama. From a small beginning in the late
1940's, Southern Precision has grown into a leading producer of specialized tooling and resin-coated sands for the foundry industry. (In 1987 it became a separate subsidiary of Walter Industries, Inc.
and was sold in 2003.)
In 1969 Jim Walter Corporation of Tampa, Florida acquired U.S. Pipe and Foundry Company. In 1988, the New York Investment firm of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Company acquired Jim Walter Corporation in
a leveraged buyout. The parent corporation's name was changed to Walter Industries, Inc. in 1991.
Walter Industries, Inc., was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in late 1997, following recapitalization in March 1995.
In 2005 U.S. Pipe, through Walter Industries, Inc., acquired Mueller Water Products, Inc. In December 2006 Walter Industries completed the spin off of its water products group (U.S. Pipe, Mueller Company,
Inc. and Anvil International, Inc.) which began with an IPO (Initial Public Offering) in June, 2006. The new company maintained the name Mueller Water Products, Inc. and is publicly traded on the NYSE
under the symbol MWA.
On April 2, 2012 Mueller Water Products completed the sale of U.S. Pipe and Foundry to USP Holdings, Inc., an affiliate of Wynnchurch Capital, LTD. Today U.S. Pipe is the largest domestic producer of
Ductile Iron pipe in sizes 4 inch through 64 inch. U.S. Pipe perfected the production of Ductile Iron pipe, which is superior in strength to cast iron, and was the first in the industry to use Ductile
Iron exclusively for all its pressure pipe and fittings.
On April 16, 2016 Forterra Building Products (“Forterra”), a leading North American provider of site infrastructure and water management products and solutions and a multinational manufacturer of concrete and clay building products, acquires U.S. Pipe. U.S. Pipe is North America’s leading provider of ductile iron pipe products for water distribution and water management applications in North America and a leader in
fittings, joint restraints and other related products.
On October 20,2016 Forterra Building Products ("Forterra") became a publicly traded company and began trading on the NASDAQ stock market under the symbol "FRTA".