Four-Year Legal Dispute Between PPG Industries and Platinum
A four-year legal battle between PPG Industries and Beverly Hills, Calif.-based
Platinum Equity ended in December, according to court records. The legal
dispute began shortly after Platinum Equity terminated its agreement to
purchase PPG’s auto glass business (now Pittsburgh Glass Works) in December
2007 (see related story in January/February 2008 AGRR™ magazine, page
The case ended with a stipulation of discontinuance filed by both parties,
dismissing the case with prejudice and without costs and fees for either
party. Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
Platinum Equity originally filed suit against PPG in January 2008, alleging
fraud and negligent misrepresentation in the agreed-upon purchase. The
private equity firm specifically alleged that PPG “misrepresent[ed] and
conceal[ed] the true facts regarding the financial condition and performance
of the company they owned and operated to fraudulently induce [Platinum]
to purchase the company at an artificially inflated purchase price.”
PPG’s auto glass business was sold a few months later that year to Kohlberg
& Co. in Mount Kisco, N.Y., for $270 million, with PPG retaining a
PPG also had filed a counterclaim against Platinum, seeking “appropriate
damages, including not only the $25 million ‘break-up’ fee to which PPG
is entitled under the [Asset Sale Agreement], but also additional damages
reflecting the economic harm suffered by PPG as a result of the Platinum
Guardian Acquires Frontier Distributors’ Assets
Guardian Automotive has acquired the assets of Denver-based Frontier Distributors.
Based on the asset purchase, Guardian has now opened its own Denver warehouse—though
in a different location from where Frontier was based.
“We purchased the inventory, equipment, racking and access to their customer
listing,” says Scott Billings, director of distribution operations for
Frontier officials could not be reached for comment. A message on the
company’s phone system says the company “is currently closed until further
The Denver warehouse will service the nation’s Southwest and Central regions,
according to Guardian. The facility will distribute automotive, truck,
bus and RV glass, along with tools and accessories, including mirrors,
mouldings, urethane and installation supplies.
In November, Guardian also opened a new retail operation in Lone Tree,
Colo., which is located in South Denver.
Joint Venture Planned for China
Central Glass and Saint-Gobain have announced that they will construct
an auto glass manufacturing plant together in China. The facility will
be created through a holding company in Japan, also to be established
as part of the joint venture, according to a joint statement from both
The plant will be built on Saint-Gobain’s property in Qingdao in the Shandong
Province with an investment of approximately $68.8 million USD ($17.9
million at the time of establishment) “to accommodate demand from the
Chinese automotive market, which has been growing at a fast rate.”
Production at the plant is expected to begin in September 2012.
Dates Announced for Auto Glass Week™ 2012
Auto Glass Week™ 2012 has been scheduled for September 20-22 at the Kentucky
International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky.
The annual event will again bring together all of the industry’s major
auto glass groups, including AGRR™ magazine, the Auto Glass Safety Council
(formerly the AGRSS® Council), the Independent Glass Association,
the National Glass Association and the National Windshield Repair Association,
along with AGRR magazine’s repair and replacement competitions.
“We are very, very excited about this year’s event,” says event coordinator
Ally Curran. “I think all who attend will find Louisville is a first-class
city full of great entertainment, nightlife, shopping and fun. It’s a
city you will be glad you visited.”
Curran said the extensive education and the Exhibition/Extravaganza will
be held again. “We heartily invite everyone in the auto glass and window
film industries to attend,” she says. The Exhibition/Extravaganza will
run September 21-22.
A room block for Auto Glass Week is available at the nearby Louisville
Marriott Downtown. Reservations can be made online by visiting www.autoglassweek.com
and clicking on the hotel link, or by calling the hotel at 800/266-9432
and asking for the Auto Glass Week group.
The International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ also will be held
AGSC Adapts Validation Program
The Auto Glass Safety Council’s (AGSC) (formerly the AGRSS® Council
Inc.) third-party validation program is undergoing several changes in
First, all AGSC-registered companies will move from random audits to audits
of every registered company during the validation period, effective January
1. The validation period also has been lengthened.
“The board voted to make this change because the companies that have been
through audits have found it so helpful and thought all would benefit
from going through the process,” says AGSC president Debra Levy, publisher
of AGRR™ magazine.
There is no change in cost for the program, according to Levy.
In addition, the validation program has been adapted so that when deficiencies
or non-compliances are found at an AGSC-Registered company during an audit,
validators will schedule a time to return to the business to ensure that
these have been fixed. Those with uncorrected deficiencies will be removed
as an AGSC-Registered company.
Lastly, the AGSC Board has announced that, though the latest version of
the Standard (003-2011) will not be in effect until approved by ANSI,
in 2012 validators will provide an informational checklist, created in
accordance with the incoming Standard, to companies upon completion of
a validation, so that they might be able to see how they have fared under
the updated Standard.
AGRSS® Council Becomes Auto Glass Safety Council
The Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS®) Council Inc.’s
transition to its new name, the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC), is now
“We’re really excited about the name change,” says AGSC Marketing committee
chairperson Nik Frye. “We believe it more accurately reflects our true
mission—auto glass safety in every respect.”
The organization’s name will appear as follows for all of 2012: the Auto
Glass Safety Council (formerly the AGRSS® Council). After December
31, 2012, it will simply be known as the Auto Glass Safety Council.
IN THE NEWS
Philadelphia ABC Affiliate Station Questions Safelite Pricing
An ABC affiliate station based in Philadelphia ran a television news report
in November questioning Safelite’s pricing policy, alleging that the company
charges different prices based on ZIP code, even in cases of in-shop work.
The story asks the following question of consumers: “Is it fair for a
company to charge you more for its services based on where you live?”
The report cites an example in which the reporter allegedly attempted
to obtain pricing for a windshield replacement on a 2003 Nissan Xterra
in several different ZIP codes on the Safelite website in the area of
the company’s Cherry Hill, N.J., shop—in each case noting on the website
that the vehicle would be brought into the company’s facility. ABC alleges
that it obtained prices ranging from $258.95 to $338.95, based on a change
of ZIP code.
Safelite spokesperson Melina Metzger offered the following statement to
AGRR™ magazine in response to the ABC report. “Pricing strategies are
confidential,” she said. “This is a case of an investigative journalist
attempting to create scandal where there is none.”
She added, “Like all businesses, Safelite uses a dynamic consumer pricing
model that fluctuates based on many variables, such as what other competitors
the customer might choose to repair or replace your vehicle glass, the
availability of a technician in [an] area, and the availability of the
right part in [an] area. At Safelite, we believe our consumer pricing
model to be fair and offer value.”
K&K Glass Inc., based in Zephyrhills, Fla., opened a new
location in Brooksville, Fla., on November 1 … JN Phillips Auto Glass
recently was awarded MassRecycle’s 2011 Gold Award in the Product
Stewardship category for its windshield recycling program.
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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.