Volume 43, Issue 2 - February 2008

Company News

PPG Auto Glass Sale on the Rocks; 
Company Acquires Coatings Producer

Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries has been notified that affiliates of Platinum Equity in Beverly Hills, Calif., intend to terminate its contract under which they agreed to purchase PPG’s automotive original equipment manufacture (OEM) glass and automotive replacement (ARG) glass and services businesses. The companies had signed an agreement regarding the divestiture in early September with a purchase price of approximately $500 million before minority interest (see November 2007 USGlass, page 28).

In addition, PPG has announced that Platinum’s affiliates filed suit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, alleging that Platinum is not obligated to consummate the agreement. While PPG does not comment on the specifics of litigation, the company says that it intends to enforce its rights vigorously under its agreements with Platinum. 

PPG also says that, in the event the transaction does not close with Platinum, it will continue to explore divestiture, restructuring and other strategic alternatives for the automotive OEM and ARG and services businesses with the goal of maximizing shareholder value. 

Frank A. Archinaco rejoined the company as president and chief executive officer of the company’s auto glass and services businesses. Archinaco was appointed vice president, automotive OEM glass, in 1986; assumed responsibility for PPG’s total glass business in 1994; and was elected executive vice president in 1997. He retired from PPG as executive vice president for glass and chemicals in 2002.

In addition, the company says it has completed the acquisition of SigmaKalon Group, a worldwide coatings producer based in Uithoorn, Netherlands, from global private investment firm Bain Capital. The total transaction value, including assumed debt, was approximately €2.2 billion (USD $3.2 billion). The company expects to add approximately $3 billion in sales annually as a result of the acquisition.

“This acquisition is strongly aligned with our vision and core strategies,” says Charles E. Bunch, chairperson and chief executive officer (CEO) of PPG. “With SigmaKalon, we are accelerating our transformation to focus on coatings and specialty products.”

Bunch noted that almost three-quarters of the company’s sales from continuing operations will now come from coatings, and more than 80 percent will come from its coatings, optical and specialty products businesses.

Pierre-Marie De Leener, former CEO of SigmaKalon Group, was appointed PPG senior vice president, architectural coatings, Europe/Middle East and Africa (EMEA). De Leener will report to Charles E. Bunch, PPG chairman and chief executive officer, and has joined PPG’s Operating Committee. www.ppg.com

Crystal Extrusion Systems Expands Into New Markets
Crystal Extrusion Systems, a subsidiary of Crystal Window and Door Systems based in New York, is expanding its aluminum extrusion and powder coat finishing services to new markets. Thomas Ziegler, general manager, says the company has implemented a number of improvements to prepare for the expansion. This includes the installation of a $1.4-million aluminum extrusion powder coat finishing system and streamlined operating procedures.

“We have very competitive extrusion services and our powder coat finishing line is second to none,” says Ziegler. “I believe we have a great opportunity to grow significantly by tapping new markets.”

He adds that the company already is sensing the growth with numerous inquiries about its powder coating services.

“The majority of the metal finishing industry in the United States is still using wet paint processing, which is not as environmentally friendly or cost-effective as powder coating, the industry standard in all of Europe,” he says. “Our powder coating capabilities offer customers cost savings, fast turnaround times, custom colors and an environmentally ‘greener’ process than wet paint.” www.crystalextrusions.com

Key Communications Inc. Launches The Studio™ 
Stafford, Va.-based Key Communications Inc., publisher of USGlass magazine, has released its latest service, a video venue, The Studio™.Designed to host video for related news items, the USGlass Studio™ contains a wide spectrum of material: show reviews, plant tours and digital video submitted by companies demonstrating their products and services.

“The Studio was created due to the ever-changing tide of media,” says Holly Biller, vice president of Key Communications. “We’ve built a site that not only welcomes outside material but can also provide new marketing opportunities to smaller companies.”

USGlass magazine began to broadcast video on The Studio when utilizing the space for its daily e-newsletter, USGNN, available at www.usgnn.com. Since the initial placement, the site has grown exponentially.

“Noting B-to-B trends, video was the obvious next step for our company,” Biller adds. “Our online viewers and advertisers had begun to request video as an outlet. The Studio was an answer to the need of our clients and one we were happy to oblige.” 

The videos will rotate through in order of their inclusion and then will be removed as more timely footage is placed. “These venues are currently complementary, though new directories for placements of advertisements are the next phase to begin the first quarter of 2008,” says Biller. “We welcome the whole gamut: the experienced videographer hired by a firm to the smaller company who requests a visit so we can help promote and educate our industry members about their offerings through video.”

Those interested in including their video in The Studio can contact Biller at hbiller@glass.com. www.usglassmag.com/studio 

Azon Named SWMF Catalyst Award Winner
Azon USA Inc. in Kalamazoo, Mich., was named by Southwest Michigan First (SWMF) as one of two quarterly recipients of the SWMF Catalyst Award. The recognition is given to honor outstanding companies in the community “for their commitment to growth in the Kalamazoo Region.” 

Since its founding as a family business in 1977, Azon has developed polyurethane pour and debridge chemical and machinery solutions focused on energy-saving technologies for manufacturers of aluminum, doors, windows, skylights and curtainwalls. With a tradition based on the premise “Azon Saves Energy,” Azon offers products and services designed with sustainability in mind. www.azonintl.com


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