Volume 13, Issue 8 - October 2012

What's News

Ashland Hardware to Close Lowell, Ind., Facility

Ashland Hardware is closing its facility in Lowell, Ind., and transfering work to its existing facilities in the United States and Mexico by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

According to a letter sent to suppliers by Nick A. Morrisroe, vice president/general manager, “following a careful and thorough review of our business, we have made the decision to reorganize Ashland Hardware to more closely match capacity with consumer demand and centralize core capabilities into centers of excellence.”

The company also issued a press release confirming that all manufacturing will be consolidated into the company’s Monterrey, Mexico facility and all distribution into Ashland’s facility in Freeport, Ill.

“In conjunction with these changes, some professional positions will be transitioned to Ashland’s headquarters in Huntersville, N.C., uniting management functions in one location. This initiative will be phased in throughout the next several months in order to provide a smooth transition, and Ashland is committed to working closely with customers to maintain quality and service levels,” said the release.

The letter sent to suppliers further states, “This was a difficult decision, but is a necessary step to ensure we compete effectively in an uncertain global economic environment, while continuing to offer high-quality products.”

Ashland will be in touch with suppliers to discuss changes resulting from this transition.

West Shore Window Breaks Ground on New Facility
West Shore Window & Door is building a larger facility on Simpson Ferry Road in Mechanicsburg, Pa. The new 13,225 square foot facility was purchased from the United Methodist Home for Children with the help of Campbell Commercial Reality and Metro Bank. Full occupancy is expected by December.

According to the announcement, the West Shore team plans to grow by a projected 20 new employees within the next 12 months.

Benada Aluminum Products Files for Chapter 11
Benada Aluminum Products, an extruder based in Sanford, Fla., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida in August. Then in September the company filed a motion for approval of an asset sale of certain of its extrusion equipment and related assets to Tubelite Inc. for a purchase price of $2.9 million.

According to Benada’s motion, company officials “have determined that the sale of the property would be beneficial to the estate … [and] that the purchase price is fair and reasonable.” If the asset sale is approved, creditor Wells Fargo will receive 80 percent of the sale proceeds, while the remaining 20 percent will be used by Benada “to continue to fund its operations.”

The company was formed as a Florida limited liability corporation on June 15, 2011, to purchase the assets of two aluminum products manufacturing companies: Florida Extruders International and Benada Aluminum of Florida Inc. (BAF). Court documents say, “The debtor’s current financial strain is rooted in the financing used to acquire FEI’s assets,” and the company noted this as a reason for the filing in its original bankruptcy petition.

The Chapter 11 filing also cited weak sales that led to cash flow problems and required the company to purchase inventory cash on demand from all of its suppliers as a contributor to the filing.

Accordingly, in June 2012 Benada officials said they began negotiations with lender Wells Fargo to restructure its current obligations and obtain additional operational funds to allow it to purchase additional inventory and necessary raw aluminum. On June 26, 2012, however, Wells Fargo declared Benada Aluminum in default of its loan.

The company listed between 100 and 199 creditors, with estimated assets between $10 million and $50 million, and estimated liabilities between $10 million and $50 million in its voluntary petition for bankruptcy, signed by company chairman and CEO Paul Melnuk. The largest industry unsecured creditors, according to court documents, include American Douglas Metals ($25,800.06) and Hydro Aluminum ($1,361,295.77).

Masonite Acquires Lemieux Doors Inc.
Masonite International Corp. has completed the acquisition of all of the capital stock of Lemieux Doors Inc. based in Windsor, Quebec. Lemieux employs approximately 150 people and its annual revenue exceeds $40 million, according to the announcement. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The combination of Lemieux’s extensive customer relationships and broad product and service offering with our distribution network will provide our customers with access to the widest range of high quality, cost effective wood door products,” says Chris Virostek, Masonite’s senior vice president of corporate development. “Lemieux’s products and capabilities complement Masonite’s existing residential wood door offerings and provide an important additional platform of strategic growth for our company.”

Eggers Industries Acquires Facility in Kentucky
Eggers Industries, a manufacturer of architectural wood products headquartered in Two Rivers, Wis., has acquired Select Veneer Co. in Smithfield, Ky. Select Veneer Co. has 90,000 square feet of manufacturing space situated on 17 acres of land allowing for future expansion opportunities, according to the announcement. Eggers currently has more than 550,000 square feet of manufacturing space at its two facilities located in Two Rivers and Neenah, Wis.

“The acquisition of Select Veneer will provide Eggers with increased manufacturing flexibility, cost effectiveness, capabilities and capacity to meet the needs in the marketplace,” says Jay Streu, president and CEO of Eggers Industries.

Legal News
Sea-Thru Windows to Pay $83,000 in Back Wages

Sea-Thru Windows Inc. in Virginia Beach, Va., has agreed to pay $83,454 in back wages to 45 workers following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division that disclosed violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime and record-keeping provisions, according to a DOL press release.

The release says investigators found that the company required employees to perform vehicle cleaning, detailing and other work “off the clock,” that is, before and after their scheduled shifts. For example, hours worked by employees to load the company’s trucks at the beginning of the day and then return to the shop to unload at the end of the day were not recorded or paid. These practices resulted in the improper calculation of overtime as well as record-keeping violations. Additionally, the company paid the required overtime rate of time and one-half only for hours worked beyond 80 in a two-week period, instead of for hours worked in excess of 40 per workweek. “Employers subject to the FLSA must ensure that their employees are fully compensated for all work hours in compliance with federal minimum wage and overtime pay requirements,” says Patricia Pickett, assistant district director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Norfolk area office, which conducted the investigation. “This investigation should serve as a notice to other employers to review their compensation and record-keeping practices to be sure that they are paying their employees in compliance with the law.”

Northern Building Products Expanding Headquarters
Northern Building Products based in Teterboro, N.J., is expanding and renovating its current facility. According to the company, the new corporate headquarters will be designed to better accommodate its continued growth.

As part of the expansion, 12,000 square feet of office space will be added to house engineering and staff support functions. After the addition of the new offices, the company says it will occupy a total of 177,000 square feet, including its Northern Architectural Systems location in Johnstown, N.Y. The company adds that it plans to use many of its eco-friendly, energy-conserving products and materials in the expansion.

Included in the space will be an education center, which will be used to help train both company and client team members and will be available for sessions with industry architects and engineers.

LaCantina Doors launched a new website at www.lacantinadoors.com, which includes updated images, easy-to navigate content, and an interactive user experience. The new site features a gallery and product sections, as well as newly designed learn and support tools … All-Weather Window, Doors and Siding opened a new Andersen Window & Door store in Kansas City, Mo. … Weather Shield Windows & Doors launched its ReInvented campaign, which the company says will include a focus on new product lines, advancements in those products’ foundational technology, an improved value proposition for homeowners and an overall sense of renewed momentum … PGT Industries has received the Best Customer Service Award from Arthur Rutenberg Homes. The award was presented by Ed Brown, vice president of purchasing and construction of Arthur Rutenberg Homes … For the second year in a row, Milgard Windows & Doors has been recognized as one of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces. According to the announcement, the annual award recognizes top employers that display leadership and innovation toward engaging their employees.


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