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May - June 2003

What’sNews

briefly..

Mikron Inc. of Kent, Wash., has announced that a special series of PVC-framed windows and patio doors have been certified to Miami/Dade County missile impact standards … Chicago-based Republic Windows & Doors recently announced that it is the first U.S. company to purchase a GHBS retrofit convection system for its existing tempering furnace. The retrofit system, manufactured by Efco Ltd. of Weybridge, England, will allow Republic to produce quality, high-performance tempered low-EHP glass in 40 percent less time, according to the company ) … Pecora Corp., a major U.S. manufacturer of sealant and waterproofing products, has received ISO Q9001:2000 certification by KEMA—Registered Quality Inc. … Gorell Enterprises Inc. of Indiana, Pa., was recently named one of Pennsylvania’s “Top 100 Businesses” by Pennsylvania Business Journal L.B. Plastics Inc. of Mooresville, N.C., has expanded its custom extrusion services of vinyl products for the fenestration industry, which the company says will enable it to offer a solution for any window or door performance requirement or preference … The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., has opened “Picture This: Windows on the American Home,” an exhibition that explores the defining role that windows play in both the architecture and the culture of the American home … Hydro Aluminum North America has recently completed its move into the corporate headquarters at the Baltimore Washington International Airport Central Business District. The move consolidates three offices into one corporate headquarters. 

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
PGT Acquires Binnings Building ProductsCustom window, door and patio-room manufacturer PGT Industries of Venice, Fla., recently announced that it has acquired Binnings Building Products Inc. of Lexington, N.C. Binnings, with $20 million in sales and more than 200 employees, has manufactured aluminum and vinyl windows and doors and storm windows and doors for the replacement and new construction market since 1958. The 230,000-square-foot facility became PGT North Carolina Operations effective January 1.

“The Binnings acquisition is a vital step in PGT’s strategic plan of continued growth,” said Randy White, PGT president. 

“They are a complementary fit with our business and our culture, sharing the same long-term vision and commitment to superior products and outstanding customer service,” he added. 

Investcorp Acquires MW Manufacturers
Investcorp, a global investment group, has purchased MW Manufacturers Inc. of Rocky Mount, Va., from Fenway Partners Inc., a private equity investment firm, for approximately $188 million.
MW is a manufacturer and distributor of windows and patio-door products in the United States. The transaction included the equity participation of MW’s management as well as certain international investors organized by Investcorp.

COMPANY NEWS
Marley Mouldings Changes Name to Royal Mouldings
ROYAL_LOGO Royal Group Technologies Ltd. of Toronto recently announced that Marley Mouldings Ltd., a Royal Group company based in Marion, Va., has changed its name to Royal Mouldings Ltd. According to the company, this change signifies the joining of Marley Moulding’s manufacturing and marketing expertise with Royal Group’s expertise in technology, engineering and process-equipment development.

“The new Royal Mouldings will include the existing operations in Marion, Va., Bristol, Tenn., and Waco, Texas, plus expanded manufacturing capacity within existing Royal Group plants in Coral Springs, Fla., and Toronto,” said Douglas Dunsmuir, president of Royal Group.

“Increasing demand for extruded cellular products is the reason we are implementing a strong growth expansion plan in 2003. We look forward to serving our customers with a new name, expanded manufacturing capabilities and enhanced product offerings,” said Larry L. Davis, chief executive officer of Royal Mouldings Ltd.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Visits ViWinTech Plant
In mid-January, U.S. Commerce Secretary Don Evans visited Vinyl Window Technologies Left to right: U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, Ronnie Brown (president), Joratta Brown, Pete Brown (CEO), U.S. Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, Ronda Clapp and Jennifer Flanary. (ViWin Tech), a vinyl window and door manufacturing plant with 200-plus employees in Paducah, Ky. Evans, accompanied by U.S. representative Ed Whitfield (R-Hopkinsville, Ky.), used window manufacturer workers and their small business owners as an example of whom the Bush administration says will benefit from its economic package. 

The proposed plan met with approval from ViWin Tech factory workers and company management. According to ViWin Tech president Ronnie Brown, the Bush economic package would help his company as well as other small manufacturing facilities in at least two ways:

1. By increasing from $25,000 to $75,000 the amount of federal tax expense write-offs that small businesses can take for buying equipment; and

2. By lowing their tax rate from 38 percent to 35 percent this year rather than next, giving ViWin Tech additional tax savings of $60,000 in 2003.

With these tax changes, the company expects to purchase much-needed equipment and hire as many as 15 employees sooner than planned. 

After touring the plant, Secretary Evans reported that the Bush plan wants to put $670 billion in “the hands of Americans” over the next ten years and explained how the administration’s plan could do just that. 

MOLD
Homeowners May Face Higher Insurance
Homeowners may be faced with paying higher premiums due to the recent surge in mold claims, according to a recent article by Pat Curry on Bankrate.com

“With insurers backing off on writing new policies, homebuyers who need proof of insurance against mold to get a mortgage have a problem. The Texas Department of Insurance has reported complaints from consumers who were held up on getting a loan, and the state’s bankers association is concerned that it could push mortgage interest rates higher as lenders have trouble getting national resellers to buy Texas loans,” Curry writes.

“Homeowners who have filed a water-damage claim in the last three years will have the hardest time. They will have a problem finding coverage at any price,” said Jenny Jones, president of Elkins/Jones, a major property-insurance broker in Los Angeles.

“The rise in claims can be attributed to construction techniques that have become the norm in the last two decades,” said Joe Lstiburek, an internationally recognized expert in moisture-related building problems and indoor air quality. He says that in the past houses were built in a way that “allowed them to dry out after they got wet.” Now that houses are built more energy efficiently, when moisture enters the home, it can’t escape.

Homeowners can reduce their insurance by taking higher deductibles or by getting a policy that doesn’t cover water damage, according to Jones. 

One company that has excluded mold from its coverage is Erie Insurance Group of Erie, Pa. The company sent out a notice to its customers about its fungi, wet or dry rot or bacteria exclusion.
The company defined fungi as, “any type or form of fungus, including, but not limited to, molds, mildews, smuts, mushrooms, yeasts and any mycotoxins, spores, scents, vapors, gases or byproducts produced, arising out of or released by any type or form of fungus. This does not include any type or form of fungi that are, are on or are contained in any good or product intended for consumption.”

The company’s statement on its fungi exclusion, effective February 1, 2003, stated, “We do not cover under personal injury or property damage arising directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, out of the actual, alleged or threatened inhalation of, ingestion of, contact with, exposure to, existence of or presence of any fungi, wet or dry rotor bacteria.”

RELOCATIONS 
The CWDMA Has a New Home
The Canadian Window and Door Manufacturers Association (CWDMA) has relocated its offices. The new management company for CWDMA is BB&C Association Management Services. The association is now located at 2121 Argentia Road, Suite 404, Mississauga, Ontario, L5N 2X4. CWDMA can be reached directly at 905/286-0660, toll-free at 866/871-8885 or e-mail at info@cwdma.ca.

ENERGY
Bush Administration Launches “Climate VISION”
On behalf of the Bush administration, the Department of Energy (DOE) launched the president’s “Climate VISION” (Voluntary Innovative Sector Initiatives: Opportunities Now) on February 12, 2003,—a voluntary, public-private partnership to pursue cost-effective initiatives that will reduce the projected growth in America’s greenhouse gas emissions. Climate VISION will be administered through the DOE’s policy and international program. 

Climate VISION is part of the global climate change strategy to work with energy partners to meet the president’s greenhouse gas intensity goals of 18 percent by 2010. Climate VISION represents a beginning to seek greater reductions and the participation of other industry sectors going forward. 

“We look forward to working closely with American industry and other sectors in fulfilling commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a growing and productive U.S. economy,” said secretary of energy Spencer Abraham. 

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