The "New" Buffett Is Buying Mueller Industries
In recent days, Cumming and his holding company have been loading up on shares of Mueller Industries (MLI).
Mueller manufactures copper, brass, plastic and aluminum products. It operates in two segments, Plumbing & Refrigeration, and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM).
Last week, Leucadia and Mueller entered into a standstill pact. Leucadia, which had a 20.5% stake in Mueller as of August 10, has agreed to own not more than 27.5% of the company's stock. Essentially, the pact prevents Leucadia from a hostile takeover of Mueller.
As of the end of the first quarter of 2011, Mr. Cumming initiated a position in MLI. He bought 1.7 million shares at an estimated average purchase price of $33.33 per share. Cumming was accumulating shares on almost a daily basis in August 2011.
In many ways, Mueller might be a bet on the U.S. housing market. Mueller is a cyclical company that rises and falls with the fortunes of the home building industry. Perhaps Leucadia feels that a housing recovery is just around the corner.