Canada’s Barber Glass Industries Placed into
The Bank of Montreal has appointed Grant Thornton Limited as receiver
and manager of Barber Glass Industries, including all of the company’s
assets. The company was placed into receivership on November 10 by Ontario’s
Superior Court of Justice.
Guelph, Ontario-based Barber Glass issued a statement on the receivership,
saying, “The company has become victim to the ever increasing poor economic
times. It is with great sadness that we announce our lenders have elected
to place the company in receivership.”
Barber had expanded in 2008 with a new plant in Collingwood, Ontario (see
February 2009 USGlass, page 46) and the statement cites some problems
with equipment issues at that plant.
“A major equipment supplier to the new facility had problems in solving
their equipment issues resulting in a delay in the start-up of commercial
production for six months,” the company writes.
The company notes that it had been working diligently to find financing
solutions. “The company was close to an interim agreement with the support
of its suppliers and customers but was unable to get its operating lender
onside,” the statement says.
According to the November 10 court order, the receiver is empowered and
authorized to do any of the following: take possession of and exercise
control over the property and any and all proceeds, receipts and disbursements
arising out of or from the property; to manage, operate and carry on the
business of the debtor, which may include ceasing to perform any contracts
of the debtor; to receive and collect all monies and accounts now owed
or heareafter owing to the debtor; to sell, convey, transfer, lease or
assign the property or any part or parts out of the ordinary course of
The court order says that all Barber employees shall remain employees
“until such time as the receiver, on [Barber’s] behalf, may terminate
the employment of such employees.”
Barber Glass has been in business for 127 years.
“The most difficult day of my life was standing in front of my employees
to explain that the company had been placed in receivership. This, in
spite of three years of significant efforts of the management team, tremendous
support by our dedicated employees and local suppliers,” said John Barber,
president, in the statement.
Fletcher-Terry Forms New Glass Cutting Unit
Fletcher-Terry LLC in Farmington, Conn., recently announced the creation
of a dedicated operating unit to focus and grow its industrial glass cutting
business in the global market place.
“This is the result of our long-term strategic planning announced at the
beginning of 2010 by the new ownership management team,” says Blair Tomalonis,
president. “Glass cutting started this company back in 1868 and we see
tremendous opportunity in the global market.”
Saint-Gobain Invests $80 Million for 50 Percent Stake
in SAGE Electrochromics
Saint-Gobain Glass in Paris has acquired 50 percent of the equity of the
Faribault, Minn.-based SAGE Electrochromics for the large-scale manufacture
of electrochromic glass. According to an announcement from SAGE, it is
an $80 million investment geared toward mass marketing the dynamic glass
Under terms of the agreement, Saint-Gobain will contribute its electrochromic
glass intellectual property to SAGE, and all manufacturing and research
and development efforts will be merged. The funding from Saint-Gobain
will go toward construction of an electrochromic glass manufacturing facility
in Faribault where SAGE will manufacture the dynamic glass for both companies’
product lines. Two senior members of Saint-Gobain’s management team—Jean-Pierre
Floris, senior vice president of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain and president
of the Innovative Materials Sector, and Francois-Xavier Moser, Saint-Gobain
Glass Solutions managing director—will join SAGE’s board of directors.
According to Jim Wilson, chief marketing officer for SAGE, “This is huge.
This is the world’s largest building materials company. It has been doing
electrochromic research for 15 years, and they have made a decision that
their go-forward strategy with regard to electrochromic is a partnership
Wilson explains that, with the partnership, “All of the future research
and development activities are being merged—Saint-Gobain will no longer
be developing electrochromic glass. SAGE will manufacture the electrochromic
glass for both companies’ product lines going forward.”
Wilson says talks have been ongoing between the two companies since March
2010, and calls the partnership a “validation” of SAGE’s work in this
technology arena. “[Saint-Gobain] is a very conservative $64 billion company.
This is a company that was founded in 1655 … they built some of the most
iconic structures in the world and they don’t do anything without a lot
of research. This validates the value proposition for electrochromic glass.
It validates the potential market for electrochromic glass—a $64 billion
company like this is not going to move forward unless they believe the
market is huge. But most importantly to us, it validates the clear world
leadership position that SAGE has in the technology.”
Earlier this year SAGE announced the construction of an electrochromic
glass manufacturing facility in Faribault (see April 2010 USGlass, page
10). Part of the funding for the $135 million facility comes from a $72
million loan offered by the Department of Energy (DOE) toward the construction
of the 300,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.
“This investment [from Saint-Gobain], alongside the DOE loan, provides
the ability to construct that plant,” Wilson says, adding, “we’ve just
broken ground on that plant.”
The companies intend to launch the first merged-technology electrochromic
product with high-volume shipments beginning in mid-2012.
SAGE will remain an independent company and continue to market its SageGlass®
products in North America. Saint-Gobain will market SageGlass® under
the QUANTUM GLASS™ brand in Europe, which envelopes all of that company’s
“electrically enabled glass products,” as Wilson explains. The two companies
will work together to develop a marketing strategy for Asia and the rest
of the world, leveraging Saint-Gobain’s distribution partnerships.
AAMA, IGMA and GANA Launch Joint Glass Documents Website
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), the Glass
Association of North America (GANA) and the Insulating Glass Manufacturers
Alliance (IGMA) have joined forces to create a new website that will serve
as a one-stop resource for all glass-related documents for fenestration.
It is accessible at www.glassdocs.com
and features documents from all three organizations.
AAMA, IGMA and GANA are active in standards development and publications
of manuals, technical bulletins, test methods and reports in North America.
The documents featured on the joint website encompass all areas of glass
for fenestration and are available within the following categories: codes
and standards; design and fabrication; voluntary test methods; post-fabrication
and installation; thermal performance; and care and maintenance.
SDC Relocates Corporate Offices and Manufacturing
Security Door Controls (SDC) has purchased a new two-story facility in
Camraillo, Calif., that it says will accommodate its growing manufacturing
and office needs. The company says the new building, which is larger than
its previous location, will help provide efficient productivity and support
for SDC and OEM product engineering, manufacturing, ShipQuick™ inventory
warehouses, marketing, sales and customer service.
The new location also features a training hall that will help support
SDC customers. The company’s new address is 801 Avenida Acaso, Camarillo,
Crystal Window & Door Systems has attained PPG Certified Commercial
Window Fabricator status. The company qualified for the Silver Member
Level within PPG’s network of certified fenestration manufacturers ...
Sapa Extrusions - North America has announced a $10 million project
to expand casting pit operations at its Cressona, Pa., plant. The project
will add 100 million pounds of additional annual capacity to Sapa’s total
casting operations. Completion and start-up of the facility scheduled
for August 2011. www.sapagroup.com
… The Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) Decorative Division
has launched a new website featuring decorative glass products at www.decorativeglazing.com
… The American Architectural Manufacturers Association has launched
a new website at www.aamanet.org.
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