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Bristolpipe Corp. of Elkhart, Ind., an extruder of PVC, ABS and chlorinated PVC piping products, is expanding southward with its acquisition of Columbia Plastics Inc. of Columbia, Tenn.

The deal, finalized Jan. 10 and announced in February, gives Bristolpipe its first plant in the South. Bristolpipe also owns facilities in Bristol, Ind., and Leola, Pa. Terms of the deal were not released.

Columbia Plastics extrudes PVC pipe for drainage, waste and vent plumbing applications. The company was founded in 1974 by brothers Charles and Austin Brewer.

In 1986, the Brewers sold it to a group of investors in which current president John Stephens had a 25 percent stake. Stephens and another investor, William E. Connelly, each acquired 50 percent stakes in the firm over several years, and the two then sold to Bristolpipe in the most recent deal.

The acquisition increases Bristolpipe's manufacturing capacity, geographic market and customer base, according to a company news release. Bristolpipe's markets include the housing and retail and wholesale plumbing industries.

Stephens will remain president of the new unit, now known as Columbia Pipe Inc.

Columbia employs 23. Industry estimates place Bristolpipe's employment at 40-80.

Columbia Plastics, with annual sales of $11 million, tied for 99th in Plastics News' 1996 ranking of North American pipe, profile and tubing extruders. Bristolpipe was not ranked.

Bristolpipe is a division of Huddersfield, England-based Heywood Williams Group plc, which reported 1995 sales of 562 million ($871.1 million). Figures for 1996 were not available.

Heywood Williams also owns LaSalle-Bristol, a single unit created in 1996 from the LaSalle-Deitch and Bristol Products Corp. divisions, and Creation Group, a glass processor with markets in the automotive, recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industries.

LaSalle-Bristol manufactures and distributes fixtures, plumbing, heating, air conditioning and other products for manufactured homes and RVs.

LaSalle-Bristol, Bristolpipe and Creation Group share headquarters in Elkhart.