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Volume 7    Issue 2            March/April 2005

AGRReports
   
Breaking News

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Boyd Group Buys Globe Network

Consolidation continued in the auto glass network market with Boyd Group Income Fund acquiring the assets of the Glass Network Division of Globe-Amerada Glass Co.

Annual revenues for the Globe Network were approximately $12.5 million for 2004.
“This acquisition is an excellent strategic fit for us. We plan to integrate the Globe Network into our U.S. based Gerber Collision & Glass head office to realize cost synergies, while leveraging our strategic industry relationships to drive future growth,” said Terry Smith, president and CEO of the Boyd Group, Winnipeg, Manitoba. “We view auto glass repair and replacement services as a complementary growth driver for our business. Though we provide auto glass repair and replacement services in our Canadian locations as well as our Gerber Collision & Glass facilities in Illinois, we do not currently offer auto glass services in the balance of our U.S. locations. Through the Globe Network, we will refer network

repairs to Boyd Group facilities, thereby providing us with an opportunity to quickly and profitably introduce auto glass repair and replacement services to the balance of our U.S. locations.”

Founded in 1976, the Globe Network has a company owned and operated call center in Chicago, and a network of approximately 7,000 independently owned businesses nationwide. 

Senior management of the Globe Network, including John Kellman, president, and Michael Kellman, senior vice president, have been retained by the Boyd Group to manage the company’s activities and report directly to Eddie Cheskis, CEO of Boyd Group’s Gerber Collision & Glass division. Cheskis is the former president of the USA Glass Network, which had been acquired by Boyd Group.

“This acquisition provides us with tremendous upside,” said Cheskis. “Combining the Globe Network’s track record of outstanding customer service with Boyd and Gerber’s strength in providing insurance companies with superior collision repair claims management solutions, post acquisition, we will embark on a focused growth plan, with a mandate to significantly grow the Globe Network’s share of market.”

Gerber Collision & Glass was acquired by Boyd Group in February 2004. In the second quarter of 2004, Boyd Group initiated the roll-out of Gerber Collision & Glass as its brand for all of its collision repair centers in the U.S. As Boyd Group continues to expand its network of Gerber Collision & Glass repair facilities in select regions throughout the U.S., it intends to grow its auto glass repair business proportionately.

JC’s Glass Sold 
JC’s Glass of Phoenix has been sold to the retail division of Iowa Glass. Iowa’s Nationwide Glass shops in Phoenix will be merged into JC’s Glass over the next few months.

JC’s was sold to Auto Glass Centers (AGC), the retail division of Iowa Glass. AGC already owns Nationwide Glass there. 

“We’re very excited about the change,” said JC’s president Cindy Minon Ketcherside. “Nationwide will be merged into JC’s and the JC Glass name will remain.”

Ketcherside, who is well-known as an industry superstar, will continue to run JC’s Glass. She also serves as chairperson of the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council (AGRSS) and a board member of the Chicago Auto Glass Group (CAGG).

“Everybody’s been asking me that, but no, I’m not going anywhere,” Ketcherside said. “I plan to continue to run the company and to be involved in AGRSS and CAGG. I plan to be around for a good few more years.”

LEGAL
Fraud Charges Filed in Two Cases
Like every industry, ours has fraud. Lately, a number of insurance companies have been issuing warnings via the press for consumers to be on the alert for auto glass fraud.
Two recent cases of fraud are now in the courts.

Jason Shannon, owner of Hawkeye Auto Specialists, Coralville, Iowa, has been indicted in Johnson County court on fraud charges of overbilling for auto glass work.

According to court documents, Shannon allegedly overbilled insurance companies $10,000 between September 2000 and October 2002 for work done on policyholders’ vehicles. He was charged with first degree theft after a year-long police investigation and faces up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted. Shannon has pleaded not guilty.

Farmers Insurance Exchange, which operates in 41 states, has filed suit against a West Coast auto glass company that it says defrauded it through phony windshield claims.

According to the insurer this is part of an ongoing investigative effort to uncover such activity.
The lawsuit against Legacy Auto Glass International, Spokane, Wash., and its president, David Nibarger, was filed recently in the Superior Court of the State of California for Alameda County. 

According to a report from a local television station in Spokane Legacy closed its call center, which had been staffed by more than 100 people, just before Thanksgiving and laid off the rest of its employees in December.

Neither Hawkeye Auto Specialists nor Legacy Auto Glass International are in business at this time.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Key Communications Named North American Sales Agent for GlassTech Asia 2005
Key Communications Inc., publisher of AGRR, USGlass, and Door & Window Manufacturer magazines, has been named the official sales agent for North America for GlassTech Asia 2005.

The show, which will take place November 30-December 2, 2005 will be held in Bangkok, Thailand at the Impact Arena Exhibition and Convention Centre. 

Space on the show floor is available to participating exhibitors at the price of $270 per square meter. A shell scheme is also available per square meter at the price of $320. The shell includes carpeting, partitions, the company’s name on signage, 1 table, 2 chairs, 2 lights, 1 outlet and 1 wastebasket. A Pre-Schedule Appointment program is also being offered to exhibitors as an additional bonus.

GlassTech Asia will have more than 98 percent of its previous attendees returning to be a part of GlassTech Asia 2005. Attendance is expected to increase from the more than 14,400 attendees that were a part of GlasTech Asia 2003.

All companies interested in exhibition at GlassTech Asia may contact Debra Levy of Key at 540/720-5584 ext. 111 or by e-mail at deb@glass.com. For additional show information regarding GlassTech Asia 2005 visit www.glasstechasia.com.

INDUSTRY
XPEL Licenses Technology to EdgeGuard
XPEL Technologies Corp., San Antonio, Texas, has signed a software licensing agreement allowing Colorado-based EdgeGuard International to electronically deliver products to its dealer base in exchange for XPEL’s participation in EdgeGuard’s revenue growth. 

EdgeGuard’s proprietary process utilizes a 4 mil (.004 inch) UV and abrasion resistant film, which is applied to a windshield’s outer edge for substantially reducing the risk of edge cracking.

W. Rege Brunner, XPEL’s chairman and chief executive officer, stated, “The arrangement with EdgeGuard allows our existing X-Pel dealers to cross sell an additional vehicle protection product. EdgeGuard can use our technology for improving their market reach, while XPEL shareholders get to participate in what appears to be a substantial growth opportunity. We believe this is just the beginning for XPEL to engage in similar types of transactions in the future, exchanging our technology for exciting revenue participations.” 

DialMark Changes Its Name
DialMark LLC, the Salt Lake City provider of business management software for the glass industry, has changed its name to Digital Business Controls. Doug Call, vice president, said the change follows the company’s transformation in recent years from being a sole provider of direct marketing aids to business management programs.

The company now offers point-of-sale software, sales training services, in-bound call center management and training, full company IT services, hosted application services, disaster recovery and data backup as well as customized software development services.

EFTEC Makes it 500,000
The glass bonding system of EFTEC North America LLC is expected to be installed on the 500,000th vehicle in early March. The product was introduced to the North American automotive OEM industry in 2003.

“EFTEC is thrilled to have reached such an important milestone so quickly in our North American OEM sales efforts,” said Joe Renzi, sales and marketing manager aftermarket for the Madison Heights, Mich.-based company. 

The first EFTEC glass bonding system was installed in August 2003 for use on the 2004 Chevy Malibu and Pontiac Grand Am. Since then, the product has been used on the Dodge Ram and Cadillac CTS, STS and SRX. 

INNOVATIONS
Windshield Film Gets Military Makeover
A protective windshield film that was designed for use on NASCAR vehicles has been adapted for use on Blackhawk helicopters in the Middle East. The clear plastic film product, developed by Pro-Tint Inc., Kannapolis, N.C., is made up of layers so that the top one can be peeled off when it gets scratched or pitted. For military use, some modifications had to be made, including a thicker layer (7 mils versus 4) and the adhesive had to be stronger.                                                                                     A peel off windshield film
                                                                                                                                               developed for NASCAR has
                                                                                                                                                been adapted for use in 
                                                                                                                                                helicopters.


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