Volume 12, Issue 2 - March 2011


Cascade Windows Acquires Empire Pacific
Cascade Windows, a privately held vinyl window and patio door manufacturer, has acquired Tualatin, Ore.-based Empire Pacific Windows.

Cascade will now operate the former Empire Pacific plant in Tualatin.

“This is a growth strategy,” says Cascade Windows president and chief executive officer Randy Emerson. “We feel we have seen the bottom … We don’t think the market is going to get worse. We want to strategically position ourselves for that growth.”

Empire Pacific serves mainly Washington, California and Oregon, while Cascade serves those same states in addition to Idaho, Utah, Denver, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii. Emerson says discussions with Empire Pacific began about six months ago.

“Cascade is looking to expand in our existing geography as well as additional areas,” he says. “It is rare to find a company with similar values, service, etc. That’s what we found with Empire. So we talked to them to see if we could come together stronger and capture more market share in our existing geographic area.”

Emerson also hints that Empire Pacific is just the beginning of the company’s growth strategy.

“In our growth plan we have opportunities for expansion,” he says. “We’re not ready to talk about those yet, but rest assured we will continue to grow.”

“We are very happy to join Cascade Windows. Their culture is a great match for Empire Pacific and we are happy to be a part of this positive growth company,” adds Justin Kent, president of Empire Pacific Windows. “The combined entity will allow us to better serve our customers with greater resources.”

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Hurd Windows & Doors Acquires SuperSeal
Hurd Windows and Doors acquired SuperSeal Manufacturing Co. Inc., a 50-year-old, privately held, high-end vinyl window manufacturer based in South Plainfield, N.J. HWD Acquisition Inc., the name under which Hurd now markets its products and brand, is headquartered in Medford, Wis., and is known for its custom wood doors and windows.

According to Hurd president and chief executive officer Dominic Truniger, the acquisition supports Hurd’s strategic growth plan to expand its diverse product mix to address the shifting needs of a broad range of construction markets—with emphasis on the replacement window market, as well as new residential and light-commercial products.

Ron Vespa, who was a SuperSeal co-owner, will continue as vice president of the company.
SuperSeal will be an independent subsidiary business of HWD Acquisition. Its products will continue to be marketed under the

SuperSeal brand and through its existing distribution channels, along with Hurd’s eastern distribution infrastructure.

Fen-Tech Sold to Local Group
Vinyl window manufacturer Fen-Tech, based in Superior, Wis., has a new owner—Superior-based Bachand Group Property Management. Bachand’s Pat Heytens serves as the new president of Fen-Tech.

Heytens told DWM magazine that he and his two partners had purchased Fen-Tech windows for a project they were working on, and through that purchase, became familiar with the company and its personnel, including Fen-Tech president Mike Mirau and operations manager Gary Flyen.

“The time was right for both sides and led to the sale,” says Heytens.

Heytens says prior to this purchase the Bachand Group was locally focused and was looking for a way to expand nationally.

“We were looking to grow in a way that would allow us to have the entire United States as our market,” he says. “I’m a real technical guy. I like that Fen-Tech embraces technology.”

Organizationally, Heytens says Gary Flyen, former co-owner, will remain with the company in plant operations. Flyen’s former co-owner Mike Mirau will move from the role of president to consultant. Mike’s son, Matthew Mirau, will continue with Fen-Tech as national sales manager.

“It is business as usual,” says Heytens. “There will be no changes as far as servicing our customers.”

President Obama Visits Thompson Creek Window Company
President Obama spoke at Thompson Creek Window Co. in Landover, Md., in early-January and pointed out that the window tax credit led to a 55-percent boost in sales at the company.

“Rick [Wuest, the owner of Thompson Creek] was telling me that when that tax credit got into place, the marketing arm of Thompson Creek got busy,” said Obama. “…That’s exactly what we wanted to see—companies explaining to the American people that ‘you can save money on your energy bill, this is a smart thing to do, take advantage of it.’”

Obama also outlined a new tax break that will allow all businesses with capital needs to take advantage of this temporary expensing provision.

The President pointed out that Wuest started in the family business when he was just 13.

“Three decades later, Thompson Creek has expanded. It’s already outgrown this new 80,000-square-foot facility that it moved into just three years ago,” Obama said.

He added that companies like Thompson Creek are what have guided his administration for the past two years.

“Government can’t guarantee Thompson Creek or any business will be successful, but government can knock down barriers like a lack of affordable credit or high costs for investment or high costs for hiring—we can do something about that. Government can remove obstacles in your path,” said Obama.

He added, “So, talking to Rick, I know Thompson Creek is planning to take full advantage of this tax break, and that’s going to help Thompson Creek renovate, expand and add another hundred new employees right here. You’ve got companies like this all over the country, and the Treasury Department estimates that overall this will accelerate $150 billion in tax cuts for two million businesses over the next two years.”

Obama said he hopes others will follow suit.

“So I want to urge all businesses with capital needs to take advantage of this temporary expensing provision, because we expect it to lower the average cost of investment by more than 75 percent for companies like Thompson Creek,” he said. “It is a powerful new incentive for businesses. It is a great opportunity for companies to grow and add jobs. Now is the time to act … Companies who are listening out there: If you are planning or thinking about making investments sometime in the future, make those investments now and you’re going to save money. And that will help us grow the economy. It will help you grow your business.”

Wuest says he got to speak personally with the president about energy efficiency during the visit.

“When we concluded the tour I met the economic team [that he was introducing that day] and he expressed a desire to continue to promote energy efficiency, in particular with windows,” says Wuest. “He made it clear he was looking for opportunities to promote efficiency, so that gave me some hope that he will create some programs that will benefit our industry.”

Windowizards Inc. and OKNA Windows Settle False Claims Lawsuit
Windowizards, a Pennsylvania-based window dealer, and manufacturer OKNA Windows Corp. of Bristol, Pa., recently settled a 2009 class action lawsuit brought against them by several customers who claimed the companies utilized “unconscionable business practices, including knowing omissions and affirmative misstatements of material fact, in connection with the advertising, marketing and sale of replacement windows in violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act … ”

Under the terms of the settlement, the court dismissed the action “with prejudice and without costs (except as provided by the stipulation).”

The stipulation required the plaintiffs to pay court attorneys’ fees and expenses in the amount of $155,175.65. In addition, lead plaintiff Quinna Cooper was awarded $5,000, according to court documents.

The original suit came about after a Philadelphia Fox News affiliate ran an investigative report about the companies’ promotional materials and advertisements relating to how much foam insulating was used in their replacement windows.

“As a result of various media outlets investigations, defendants have admitted that their promotional materials and advertisements depicted an ‘inaccurate portrayal of how much foam insulation was used in the replacement windows they sold,’” wrote lead plaintiff Quinna Cooper’s counsel in the original complaint. “Despite defendants’ misrepresentations, purchasers paid defendants a premium for replacement windows that contained foam insulation.”

The specific windows named were the ComfortWeld line, manufactured by OKNA and sold by Windowizards. Plaintiffs included all New Jersey residents who purchased ComfortWeld Windows from Windowizards from January 1, 2006, to July 31, 2009.


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