The "New" Buffett Is Buying Mueller Industries
In recent days, Cumming and his holding company have been loading up on shares of Mueller Industries (NYSE: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.