White House Officials Visit Northeast Building Products
When U.S Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun
Donovan announced that 162,000 new jobs were created nationwide in March,
he traveled to Philadelphia’s Northeast Building Products (NBP) as a testament
of companies who are hiring new workers. On April 2, Donovan, along with
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and executive
director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority Carl Greene, toured the
window manufacturing plant and spoke to the company’s 285 employees.
“It was great to have them here,” says Alan Levin, NBP president and chief
executive officer. “We couldn’t get them through the tour quick enough
because they kept stopping to talk to those working around the plant,
which was a thrill for [our employees].”
While Donovan focused on the positive employment numbers for March, Greene
focused on the $128 million dollars of stimulus money that was distributed
to the Philadelphia Housing Authority in 2009 as part of the stimulus
package, some of which was responsible for NBP’s uptick in business. He
also focused on the window tax credit which was an even bigger factor
in the company’s growth since last year, says Levin.
Donovan also spoke of President Obama’s commitment to “making green building
an engine of economic growth … and to lowering greenhouse gas emissions
and energy costs,” according to NBP officials.
“We share President Obama’s vision for a greener America,” adds Levin.
“By producing high-performance, ultra energy-efficient windows, we are
able to play our part by providing products that help consumers reduce
their energy consumption and save money through energy tax credits.”
Glasslam to Open Three New Locations, Close One, in 2010
Glasslam N.G.I. Inc., headquartered in Pompano Beach, Fla., has announced
worldwide expansion plans for the company’s Air-Tight™ insulating glass
foam spacer products, including the investment for three new manufacturing
Among the new facilities is Air-Tight UK Ltd. in Kent, United Kingdom.
This factory will service existing and new accounts in the European market.
Air-Tight™ UK Ltd. is scheduled to open this summer. According to information
from the company, the first of three extruding lines are almost complete
and staff training currently is underway.
In the third quarter of 2010 the company plans to open Air-Tight™ Asia
Ltd. in Kowloon, Hong Kong. This new facility, in partnership with Glasslam
Asia Ltd., will produce foam spacer products for use in Asian markets.
Completing the company’s 2010 expansion plans will be the fourth-quarter
addition of a new Air-Tight™ foam spacer plant in the Southeastern United
States. Site search is underway in the Carolinas for the best location
for the new facility. The company’s new Air-Tight™ Smart Edge™ will be
the focus of the new operation.
This last announcement followed a March 14 editorial in The Bahamas Weekly,
in which Steve Howes, chief executive officer of Glasslam N.G.I./Fenestration
and Glass Services Ltd., announced that FGS would be closing its facilities
in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, and relocating that facility to North
Carolina, citing problems working with Grand Bahama Power Co.
Howes says that the company will retain a small satellite window factory
on the island but the closure will mean the loss of more than 500 jobs.
ProBuild to Open New Locations in Utah and Virginia
ProBuild Holdings Inc. is opening two new locations, one in Orem, Utah,
and one in Winchester, Va.
The Orem location, which will begin with nine employees, is ProBuild’s
fourth in the state of Utah, joining Heber City, Midvale (Salt Lake City)
and Ogden. The Orem facility will service lumber and millwork customers
and opens with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody Certification
that enables Orem to sell FSC-certified material. The Virginia location,
formerly a location operated by Glaize Components, will extend ProBuild’s
capabilities to serve the Washington, D.C./Baltimore markets. Winchester
will manufacture components including roof trusses, floor trusses and
The 18-acre site will also feature a full-service lumberyard.
Royal Window and Door Profiles Expands Distribution Presence
in Western Canada
Royal Window and Door Profiles, a division of Royal Group Inc., announced
in March that it has signed a distribution partnership agreement with
British Columbia-based Coniston Products. Royal Window and Door Profiles
officials say it hopes the partnership will help it to meet the growing
demand for its door products in Western Canada, according to the company.
Royal adds that its customers will benefit from Coniston’s extensive experience
in warehousing and distribution of products for the door and window industry.
Simon Fitzgerald, key account manager at Royal Window and Door Profiles,
Central Division, will coordinate the sales effort along with Coniston’s
president, Chris Meekley, and international sales director, Tony Scigliano.
The distribution center is located at 7550 MacDonald Rd., Delta, B.C.,
and will complement the already existing distribution center in Woodbridge,
Secretary Chu and Congresswoman Dahlkemper Visit Seaway
Secretary of Energy Dr. Stephen Chu and Congresswoman Kathleen Dahlkemper
visited Seaway Manufacturing Corp. in March to meet with the owners and
several employees and tour the plant. Seaway says the Secretary and Congresswoman
chose to visit Seaway because of its reputation for building high-quality,
energy-efficient doors and windows that comply with the
Energy Tax Credit.
Secretary Chu said the credits help businesses like Seaway survive these
difficult economic times. He said the goal of the incentives and rebates
is to “take the pain out of energy efficient home improvements.”
Congresswoman Dahlkemper also spoke about the benefit of the Energy Tax
Credit for windows in the Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.
“Thanks to the Recovery Act, homeowners can save as much as $1,500 in
tax credits for energy improvements—a major savings for families. With
quality, energy-efficient products made right here in Erie, homeowners
in our region can save money and support local businesses at the same
time,” said Rep. Dahlkemper.
Seaway president Jana Goodrich thanked the Secretary and the Congresswoman
for making energy efficiency a priority.
“It is a credit to your efforts and this administration that has so aggressively
pursued making energy-efficient home improvements more desirable and affordable
for more Americans. It’s good for the industry, good for the country,
and the tax incentives and rebates help us to provide more jobs and to
ensure job security for our employees and their families,” she said.
Weiland Files Patent Infringement Suit Against Panda Windows and Doors
Weiland Sliding Doors and Windows Inc. recently filed a suit against Panda
Windows and Doors alleging patent infringement. The complaint was filed
in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on
Weiland alleges that Panda infringed on U.S. Patent 7,007,343 (the ‘343
patent) and U.S. Patent 6,792,651 (the ‘651 patent), which are said to
cover two inventions by Weiland founder William R. Weiland and relate
to drainage systems often found in “lift and slide” doors.
“[Panda] has offered for sale and sold, and continues to offer for sale
and sell tracks that have identical drainage systems to the system which
Weiland protected by the ‘343 and ‘651 patents, throughout the United
States, including in this judicial district,” writes Weiland in its complaint.
Weiland goes on to assert that Panda “knew of Weiland’s patent rights
from the time of the first such product manufactured by Defendant, in
part, because the products of Defendant appear to be copies of those from
In addition to patent infringement, Weiland alleges that Panda “induced
and is inducing” the alleged infringement by “advertising, promoting,
providing instructions and brochures on the assembly, installation use
and sale of the patented inventions in such a manIn addition to patent
infringement, Weiland alleges that Panda “induced and is inducing” the
alleged infringement by “advertising, promoting, providing instructions
and brochures on the assembly, installation use and sale of the patented
inventions in such a manner as to actively induce infringement of the
Plaintiff’s patents in the United States and specifically in this Southern
District of California, and will continue such infringement unless enjoined
by this court.”
Weiland is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction against Panda,
damages related to the charges “in an amount yet to be ascertained,” attorneys
fees and court costs, and that Panda “be required to cancel any purchase
orders for infringing products and destroy all inventory of the same,”
according to the complaint.
Panda owner Avi Shoshan says the disagreement regarding the patents began
more than two years ago.
“Panda was contacted by Weiland more than two years ago about the same
patents that are the subject of this California lawsuit,” says Shoshan
in an exclusive statement provided to DWM magazine. “At that time, we
advised Weiland that we were not aware of any Panda product that was covered
by a Weiland patent. We asked Weiland to notify us within a specified
time frame if it had a different view—otherwise, we explained, Panda would
assume that Weiland agreed that no Panda product was covered by a Weiland
patent. Weiland never responded to that letter, showing that it agreed
with Panda on this issue.”
Shoshan says the Panda product referenced in the suit has been on the
market since at least 2005.
He adds, “It is our view that Weiland has brought suit now to try to interfere
with Panda’s business relationships, and to try to win business from Panda’s
Shoshan also says Panda’s attorneys have advised Weiland via letter “that
if they do not stop this interference, and if they do not drop the lawsuit,
Panda will have no alternative but to file suit against Weiland for this
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Stock Building Supply Purchases Assets of National Home Centers Inc.
Stock Building Supply has acquired the assets of National Home Centers
Inc., a supplier of building materials in Arkansas.
“We are pleased to complete this transaction and look forward to working
with our new colleagues in central and northwest Arkansas,” says Joe Appelmann,
president and chief executive officer. “Stock transformed its operating
model over the past year to become a leaner, more focused organization.
This process has allowed us to seize significant opportunities like National
Home Centers. We will continue to explore intelligent growth options both
in our core markets and elsewhere if opportunities arise.”
Ken Greene has been appointed market manager for Stock’s Arkansas operations.
Greene has served in numerous positions within Stock including posts in
operations and sourcing.
Masonite Completes Acquisition of LEDCO
Masonite Inc. announced in March that it has acquired substantially all
of the assets of LEDCO Inc., located in Shelbyville, Ky. LEDCO is an interior
flush door manufacturer specializing in molded, veneer, mirror, pine,
and bifold doors. LEDCO (previously known as Lake Erie Door Co.) was founded
in 1964 in Akron, Ohio, by the Solomon family. The financial details of
the acquisition have not been disclosed.
LEDCO’s president, Steve Solomon, will remain with Masonite in a senior
advisory role. Joseph Solomon will remain with Masonite having the overall
responsibility of the Shelbyville facility. LEDCO’s vice president of
sales and marketing, Drew Scott, also will remain with the company and
assume a senior sales role with Masonite’s wholesale team.
AMD Certification Program Adds Fire Rating Certification
The Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD) Certification Program’s
newest program is Fire Rating Certification. AMD, in collaboration with
the National Accreditation and Management Institute (NAMI), offers a variety
of door-related, third-party certifications through the AMD Certification
Program. The Fire Rating Certification will be the premiere service sponsored
under the AMD Certification Program. This program is accredited by the
American National Standard Institute (ANSI).
“We have had many inquiries since the AMD Certification Program was launched
last year when AMD would be offering Fire Rating Certification” said Rosalie
Leone, AMD chief executive officer. “This premiere service has been in
the works for some time, so we are pleased that it is now available for
Buying Windows: There’s an App for That
Marvin Windows has released an innovative tool called The “Window Shopping”
iPhone app, designed to help homeowners plan basic designs for doors and
windows, inside and outside the house. After taking a photo of an interior
or exterior space that could use an upgrade, the app user can choose from
nearly 50 resizable photos of Marvin windows and doors, arrange them over
the photo, and save or send the photo to share with friends, family or
a local Marvin dealer.
Georgia Gulf Restructures Debt; Positions Royal Group for Growth
Royal Group Inc. anticipates disciplined growth across its building products
divisions following the successful debt-for-equity exchange by parent
Georgia Gulf Corp., according to a company press release. The new capital
structure reduces Georgia Gulf’s long-term debt by $736 million, also
reducing its annual interest expense by $69.7 million.
“We are immediately positioned to be a stronger competitor and to achieve
strategic growth,” says Mark J. Orcutt, Georgia Gulf executive vice president
– Building Products. “We are refocused on what we do best – innovating
and providing the highest levels of service to our customers. Royal Group
Inc. has been fortunate that even in the market’s downturn, we have introduced
new products that are very well-received and that meet the needs of our
customers. It’s an exciting time to move forward, expanding into new markets
and growing in existing markets.”
Atrium Companies Inc. Emerges from Chapter 11
Atrium Companies Inc. has successfully completed its balance sheet restructuring
and has emerged from Chapter 11. The company had filed for bankruptcy
on January 20, 2010 (see related story in March DWM, page 24).
As a result of the restructuring, Atrium officials say the company has
reduced its outstanding debt by almost 60 percent, from $680 million at
the time of filing to approximately $280 million at emergence. In addition,
the company has secured $170 million in new equity from Golden Gate Capital
and Kenner and Co. and $280 million in new financing.
As a result of the restructuring, Golden Gate Capital and Kenner and Co.
have acquired 92.5 percent of the reorganized company’s new common stock
and former bondholders have received the remaining 7.5 percent of the
reorganized company’s new common stock.
Company subsidiary North Star Windows also has completed the restructuring
process in Canada, under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA).
Atrium’s legal advisors were Kirkland & Ellis in the U.S. and Goodmans
LLP in Canada. Its financial advisor was Moelis & Company.
H.B. Fuller to Discontinue Production of Polysulfide-Based IG Sealant
Product Line in Europe H.B. Fuller Company announced on April 26 that
it will exit the polysulfide-based insulating glass sealant product line
in Europe by the end of calendar year 2010.
The company, which provides sealant solutions for the residential IG market
in the United States says the move will allow the company to “focus on
more innovative technologies.”
In 2006 the company expanded into the European residential insulating
glass market by acquiring a polysulfide-based product line. In fiscal
year 2009, the company says this product line generated net revenue of
approximately $25 million.
The company says it will now focus on “more innovative technologies for
this market” and adds that polysulfide-based products have essentially
become commodity products, leading to this decision.
Foreign Competition Report for U.S. Building Products Industry Available
from Jordan, Knauff and Company
Jordan, Knauff & Company, a middle-market investment bank with a specialized
practice in the building products industry, has announced the publication
of its second annual issue of the “Foreign Competition Report for the
U.S. Building Products Industry.”
The report summarizes import statistics and growth rates of the top importing
countries in eleven different building products categories and includes
information about the following industry segments: doors and windows,
vinyl profiles, glass, flooring, fencing, siding, roofing, decking, columns,
cabinets and engineered wood products.
The report is published annually and offers information about the level
of risk of foreign competition faced by the various building products
© Copyright 2010 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.