Many acquisitions and mergers among the window and fenestration industries have been announced in recent months. As the industry increasingly mimics the banking businesss trend of widespread consolidation, questions are being raised as to what effect these mergers will have on window and door manufacture.
To name but a few recent transactions, Pella, IA-based Pella Corporation has purchased Viking Industries, Portland, OR; American Architectural Products Corporation of Boardman, OH, acquired RC Aluminum Industries, Inc., Miami, FL, and the Weather-Seal division of Louisiana-Pacific Corp., Baberton, OH; Auburn, WA-based Insulate LLC was purchased by CertainTeed Corporation of Valley Forge, PA; and Spectus Systems, USA of Winnebago, IL, was bought by Mikron Industries, Inc. of Kent, WA. Further, companies with a strong track-record of mergers and acquisitions, such as the largest, Klamath Falls, OR-based Jeld-Wen, continue with that strategy.
There seems to be little explanation for the trend, according to the industry authorities interviewed by USGlass. Bob OKeefe, president of the National Sash and Door Jobbers Association summed up the general consensus by noting, "It seems to be the wave in todays business environment."
A spokesperson for Bayport, MN-based Andersen Windows, Inc. adds, "When this has happened in other industries, it tends to be a reflection of the industry meeting customers needs."
OKeefe predicts the effect will be felt most by the smaller manufacturers that compete with the expanding giants. "I foresee the small manufacturer being squeezed by the big manufacturers, which will make it more difficult for them to compete," he says.
Al Campbell, president of the National Wood Window and Door Association, sees it a bit differently. "Obviously, there will be some shifting as these consolidations occur, and some brand names may disappear." But, Campbell, adds, "I believe the strong companies with desirable products should always be able to maintain a position in the marketplace."
The experts agree that industry consolidation has many benefits, particularly for the companies who are involved in the mergers. Such organizations are often able to broaden their product offerings, position themselves in wider markets and offer better prices due to economies of scale. Campbell notes that the smaller merged and acquired companies also reap benefits.
"In the case of companies that are merged or acquired, it takes them out of the uncompetitive situation they may have been in due to lack of resources," says Campbell. "Those smaller brand names may now have access to funds for R&D or market promotion."
According to Andersen, any trend that allows the window and door manufacturers to better meet customers needs is good for the industry overall. The companys spokeswoman adds, "We trust the marketplace and builders to do whats needed to meet the needs of customers. If that solution is reflected in consolidation, then so be it." RJ
American Architectural Products of Boardman, OH, has announced the acquisition of Weather-Seal, which was previously a division of Louisiana-Pacific Corporation. Weather-Seal is manufacturer of products for the fenestration industry and has facilities in Ohio.
The company also announced that Forte, Inc., a subsidiary of AAPC, has purchased the assets of Blackhawk Architectural Products of Fort Atkinson, WI. The company says the addition of Blackhawk adds another dimension to its capacity to manufacture and distribute fenestration products.
Windsor Window Company of Des Moines, IA, says it is rapidly expanding its national distribution network, adding more than 20 distributors and dealers during the past 18 months. The company says that it continues to hire additional sales representatives to serve its growing distributor network.
Valley Forge, PA-based CertainTeed Corporation, a subsidiary of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain of Paris, has announced completion of its cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of Bird Corporations outstanding common and preference shares. CertainTeed and Bird will now proceed to complete a merger pursuant to which Norwood, MA-based Bird will become a wholly owned subsidiary of CertainTeed.
GED, Inc. of Twinsburg, OH, announced record sales for the fiscal year ending May 31, 1998. According to the company, it had a sales increase of 38 percent over the previous 12-month period. GED is a provider of equipment, software and services for the insulating glass industry.
Pella Corporation of Pella, IA, has updated its Rolscreen window screens and reintroduced them on Designer Series® and Architect Series® casement windows. According to the company, the screens feature corrosion-resistant parts, a black fiberglass screen cloth and a finish that blends with other Pella hardware.
Scapa Tapes of Windsor, CT, has added the Duofoam S5164 and S5169 pressure-sensitive PVC foam tapes to its line of Duofoam double coated products. According to the company, the tapes are designed to seal out water and air and cushion components in window assembly, while also providing tack, peel and holding power.
Lyon Metal Products of Aurora, IL, offers M.I.G. welded, 16-gauge lockers with integrated construction. According to the company, the lockers are available in single-, double-, three-, four-, five- and six-tiered styles with diamond-shaped perforations or micro-louvers on doors.
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