Volume 8, Issue 11 - December 2007
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Quanex to Separate Building Products
from Vehicular Products Business
Houston-based Quanex Corp., which owns TruSeal Technologies, Mikron Industries and Homeshield, has announced that it will spin off its Building Products business to its shareholders as a stand-alone company called Quanex Building Products in a taxable distribution. All Quanex shareholders of record will receive one share of Quanex Building Products’ stock for each share of Quanex stock.
In addition, Quanex, consisting principally of the Vehicular Products business, including its MACSTEEL division, and corporate accounts, has signed a definitive agreement to merge with a wholly owned subsidiary of Gerdau S.A. in exchange for $39.20 per share in cash. This merger will take place after the spin-off of the Building Products business has occurred.
Quanex Building Products, as the Building Products business will be known, will be 100-percent owned by Quanex shareholders and is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Raymond A. Jean will become chairman and chief executive officer of Quanex Building Products and the current senior leadership team of Quanex will join him.
“We spent considerable time evaluating strategic alternatives and have determined this is the best course of action, as the businesses will benefit from greater strategic focus and capital flexibility, offer exciting opportunities for employees, and deliver compelling value for shareholders,” Jean says. “Shareholders will realize significant value in cash through the merger of Quanex with Gerdau, and they will continue to participate in the growth prospects of Building Products through ongoing ownership in this business.”
The merger of Quanex by Gerdau S.A. remains subject to approval by Quanex shareholders, clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, the Exon-Florio Provision and other customary closing conditions. The transactions are expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2008.TruSeal president Gus Coppola says he does not expect this to affect the company’s customers in any way.
“Let me assure you that customers will not see any change in their relationship with Truseal as we transition to the new structure,” Coppola says. “You can expect this to be a seamless process that ensures customers will continue to receive the same high-quality products and service that they have come to expect from us.”
He also notes that it is an exciting time in the company’s future.“Looking ahead, we are very excited about what this change in structure means for Quanex Building Products,” he says. “As a company concentrating purely on the Building Products space, we will be even more focused on bringing customers new and value-added products and enhancing customer service levels. We will also have the financial strength to ensure that we can weather various market cycles and continue to grow our business in attractive ways within the residential construction and remodeling markets.”
MI Windows and Doors Closes Georgia Facility
“Our decision to close the Millen facility has been extremely difficult,” says Matt DeSoto, president, Eastern Division of MI Windows and Doors. “Anytime we affect team members and their families by eliminating jobs it comes with much concern and anxiety. The decision is not a reflection of how our team in Millen has performed, rather a necessary reaction due to the current downturn in new home construction.”
The company will be redeploying the assets in Millen to its other window fabrication facilities in the eastern portion of the United States.
Atrium Announces Branch Closings in Florida
“With housing starts in Florida dropping by 70 percent in the last two years, we believe our long-term reach to the market is best served by focusing sales efforts through independent distribution,” says Bob Burns, chief operating officer of Atrium. “Challenging market conditions across the [United States] and particularly in Florida have required us to make adjustments to our current business model. With this change to our Florida infrastructure we are well positioned to meet short- and long-term sales plans moving forward.”
The first branches to transition will be Ft. Myers, Vero and Orlando. The last two will be Tampa and Jacksonville.
The realignment will affect the current workforce. “While this decision is necessary to keep in line with the company’s operational strategy and continuous need to address a shifting market, we regret it anytime when operational adjustments result in displacing employees,” adds Burns.
Tru-Defense is designed to work together to protect homes from severe weather, according to the company. Therma-Tru’s Tru-Defense certified entry and patio doors have an air, water and structural performance rating of DP-40 or higher, according to the company, and the complete door systems are independently tested, and certified by the National Accreditation and Management Institute (NAMI).
Novatech Named Canadian Energy Star® 2007 Advocate of the
Nordson Facility Named Best Plant Finalist
Established in 1990, the annual competition recognizes plants with a focus on enhanced customer satisfaction and creating stimulating and rewarding work environments. The competition encourages manufacturing managers and work teams to emulate the honorees by adopting world-class practices, technologies and improvement strategies, according to Nordson.
Entrants are judged on criteria including: proactive environmental and safety practices; operational improvements; agile production systems; supplier partnerships; customer focus; employee empowerment; quality systems; management practices; and manufacturing capability.
This specification is a compilation of standards and test methods for determining the performance of both compounds and tapes used in the manufacture and/or installation of windows, sliding glass doors and curtainwalls. Sealant specifications in this publication include back-bedding compounds, back-bedding mastic tapes, glazing tapes, narrow joint seam sealers, exterior perimeter sealing compounds, non-drying sealants and expanded cellular glazing tapes.
“The most significant change was the addition of sections for performance requirements covering slump and extension/compression and a section on the test method for hardness evaluation,” says Brenden.
A note was added regarding testing of Group A and C compounds and offered a choice of test methods.
Part of this testing may provide insight on sealant durability and performance. A second note explains how the specimen requirements were derived for lap shear strength with exposure. This value was increased to be consistent with uniform structural load test requirements of AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S. 2/A440.
A third note was also added to caution the user that it is required to determine chemical compatibility to the substrates in the application, as sealants used in the installation of fenestration products can adversely affect the substrates and other compounds used. New figures also were added to demonstrate lap shear preparation and testing.
According to VI president Tim Burns, the news report attributed the move largely to concerns over lead in vinyl products. “This appears to be driven by fears over imported products containing lead, which have had high visibility in the news this year. Lead does not have to be used to make vinyl products, and it should be deliberately avoided in packaging and products for children,” Burns says.
Lead can be used as a stabilizer for vinyl products, but its use has dramatically fallen as vinyl manufacturers have turned to other stabilizers based on calcium, zinc and barium, according to VI.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has tested for lead in imported bibs and lunchboxes and concluded that the tested products were not likely to harm children. Nevertheless, VI expressed concern over the findings, pointing out that importers need to set and enforce quality control standards on the materials in their products no matter where they come from.
“Vinyl products have proven themselves safe and important in endless ways over the years,” Burns says. “All the opinion data we have seen shows that consumers want and rely on vinyl products. We believe Target knows this and will continue to act accordingly.”