Volume 45, Issue 1 - January 2010



International Aluminum Corp.
Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

International Aluminum Corp., a manufacturer of aluminum and vinyl products, and parent company to United States Aluminum, filed a petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 on January 4 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The company also has announced that it has entered into a restructuring agreement with holders of approximately 72 percent of its senior debt. Company officials say the goal of the restructuring agreement is to significantly reduce the company’s debt and other guaranteed obligations, allowing it to maximize its product offerings, customer experience and profitability for long-term success.

The petition states that the company has between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors (consolidated with affiliates); between $1 and $5 million in estimated assets (consolidated with affiliates); and between $1 and $5 million in estimated liabilities (consolidated with affiliates).

A number of companies in the glass and window industry are included in the consolidated list of creditors holding the 30 largest unsecured claims. These include: Guardian Industries ($48,636); Glass Equipment Development ($22, 018); Pemko Manufacturing ($20,902); All Weather Tempering ($19,301); Northwestern Industries ($15,228); and EPCO Industrial Contractors ($14, 151).

The company also filed its proposed Plan of Reorganization and related Disclosure Statement, and says it intends to move swiftly through approval of the Disclosure Statement and confirmation of the Plan by the Court to permit an expedited exit from bankruptcy.

Among International Aluminum’s subsidiaries are: IAC Holding Co.; United States Aluminum Corp.; United States Aluminum Corp. - Carolina; United States Aluminum Corp. - Illinois; United States Aluminum Corp. - Texas; RACO Interior Products Inc.; General Window Corp.; International Extrusion Corp. - Texas; International Extrusion Corp.; International Window - Arizona Inc.; and International Window Corp. The company’s Canadian subsidiaries are not included in the Chapter 11 filing.

“International Aluminum Corporation is a strong and viable company. We are securing the company’s long-term future by taking this decisive action to restructure our debt and strengthen our balance sheet,” says Dick Almy, chief executive officer. “We believe that through this process the company will emerge stronger, more competitive and unburdened by debt allowing for future growth.”

As is standard in such cases, International Aluminum is seeking authority from the court that will enable it to continue to operate its business without interruption. The requests include authority to continue to honor all customer programs, such as warranties, and to continue to pay salaries and provide benefits to employees. 

According to a news release issued by the company, International Aluminum remains in a strong cash position, and will be able to support its day-to-day and ongoing operations, including paying vendors and suppliers for goods and services provided after the Chapter 11 case filings. The proposed reorganization plan also provides for the full payment of all pre-Chapter 11 claims of the company’s vendors and suppliers.

The restructuring comes as a result of “the unprecedented downturn in both residential and commercial construction sectors, causing a severe decline in the purchase and use of aluminum and vinyl products,” according to the release.

“Like many other manufacturing companies in the United States, the protracted recession has had a dramatic impact on our ability to manage debt costs and comply with our debt guidelines,” says Almy. “But International Aluminum is resolute and committed to the future, and we believe that this restructuring will ultimately benefit our customers, business partners and employees.”

Standard Bent Glass Owner Acquires Certain Assets of Coastal Glass Distributors
D. Michael Hartley, owner of Standard Bent Glass, Global Security Glazing and Lexgard Laminates, has acquired certain business assets of Coastal Glass Distributors in Charleston, S.C., which closed its doors in August 2009 (see September 2009 USGlass, page 14). The purchase has no financial ties to Hartley’s other companies, though he has granted a partial ownership to his key managers.

The acquisition includes receivables, machinery and equipment, the truck fleet, customer list and the name Coastal Glass Distributors. The acquisition did not include the Jacksonville, Fla., location.

Hartley told USGlass he pursued the purchase because he saw it as a complement to his company’s other businesses.

“[The businesses] did not conflict and there is a lot of common territory where I think we can do a better job,” Hartley said. “I expect there will also be common sales agents.”

He added, “Coastal did a good job of servicing the Southeast and had a good name in the industry. Unfortunately, the economic times caused its demise. Now, we feel we can turn it around and bring it back to where it was.”

With business resuming at the plant in Charleston, some of Coastal’s former employees are back to work.

“Those employees we are bringing back are ones who have been with Coastal at least four years,” says Trent Hartley, sales and marketing manager, who also spent nine years in that role at Coastal. Jack Hoey, who had served as president of Coastal, will not be returning.

As far as the company’s production capabilities, the Hartleys say they will remain the same.

“We’re trying to re-establish the good service Coastal was known for in the past,” says Trent Hartley. “We are planning to [return the company to] what it was three or four years ago, but it will take time. We’d like to get back to servicing the exact routes it did then, covering North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Northern Florida.”

Hartung Glass Industries Acquires AGC’s Vancouver Facility
Hartung Glass Industries of Seattle and AGC Flat Glass North America Ltd., a subsidiary of the Tokyo-based Asahi Glass Co., announced on January 5 that the companies have signed a definitive agreement under which Hartung has acquired the Metro Vancouver location of AGC Flat Glass. The location will operate as Hartung Glass Canada, effective immediately. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Hartung Glass is very proud of our roots in B.C. as an active member of the local glass and metal community for over 15 years with Lami Glass and Agalite Shower & Bath Enclosures,” says Nick Sciola, Hartung president and owner. “The addition of Hartung Canada will complement our existing lines and enhance our ability to better serve the region with an extremely experienced and talented in-place team, and our own fleet of trucks delivering to new and existing customers from White Rock to Whistler and Vancouver Island through the Okanagan and into Alberta.”

Burnaby, B.C.-based Hartung Glass Canada will continue to manufacture coated and non-coated insulating glass units and distribute cases of glass from primary glass manufacturers including Guardian, PPG, Pilkington, Zeledyne and AGC. Hartung Glass Canada also will act as a distribution hub for the company’s complete line of hardware and architectural glass products including laminated, silk screened, tempered and decorative. The Coquitlam, B.C., location of Agalite Shower and Bath Enclosures also will be consolidated with the new plant.

According to a news release issued by Hartung, the acquisition advances its mission of controlled growth and increasing its presence as a supplier of fabricated glass products on the West Coast, and will position the company for continued expansion. Hartung continues to explore additional cities and opportunities for expanding its footprint in the West Coast market.

Norshield Corp. Splits from CompuDyne
On December 6, 2009, Norshield Corp. was acquired in a transaction with management by Norshield Holdings LLC, owned by members of Spell Capital Partners, a Minneapolis-based private equity group, and its management team. Going forward, the blast- and bullet-resistant glass product manufacturer will operate under the name Norshield Security Products LLC.

The transaction was structured as a stock sale and involved a complete separation from CompuDyne, the Gores Group and all of its affiliate companies, including Norment Security Group, Fiber Sensys, Tiburon and Signami DCS.

The company will continue to operate from its existing plant in Montgomery, Ala.

In a letter to customers, president Gary Hart commented, “We are excited about this announcement for several reasons but especially for what this means for our customers, suppliers, vendors and our employees. As a member-controlled operating company, we will be better equipped to run and manage our business going forward.”

Glassline Acquires Aisa S.p.A.
Glassline Corp. in Perrysburg, Ohio, has announced its acquisition of the glass processing technology of Aisa S.p.A. of Ticengo, Italy. Aisa produces silkscreen printing machines, as well as paint drying systems, both UV and infrared. The Aisa technology also includes screen printing accessories, such as squeegee sharpeners, as well as Aisa’s glass handling designs such as loading/unloading, pre-registration systems, accumulators, visual inspection, dimensional inspection, paper interleaving, pairing and palletizing systems.

This acquisition enhances Glassline’s product line of glass fabrication tools and equipment. According to a Glassline news release, the company has extensive existing manufacturing capabilities for the production of the new silkscreen systems and spare parts.

DORMA Entrance Systems Opens Sales and Service Division in Chicago
DORMA Entrance Systems has opened an office dedicated to servicing all brands of manual and automatic swing doors, balanced doors, sliding and folding automatic doors, ICU doors and revolving doors in the metropolitan Chicago market. The Lake Bluff, Ill., location also will sell DORMA-branded products.

The opening of the new branch helps expand the company’s sales, installation, service and maintenance network, which has centered on its Carolina Door Controls operation along the East Coast.

Angus MacMillan, a 10-year veteran with the Crane Revolving Doors brand, will head the branch. All field technicians at the branch are AAADM-certified.

TrussWorks International Inc. Relocates
Anaheim, Calif.-based TrussWorks International Inc. (TWI), a specialty steel firm that fabricates steel for projects such as structural glass facades and skylight applications, recently relocated its operations.

“Our new facility is nearly 20 percent larger [than the old location], encompassing approximately 45,000 square feet in total size, providing larger office and conference space to accommodate our expanded quality control, production and design staff,” says Anastasiya Heydari, director of finance and sales, who adds that the new facility also contains a separate machine shop area and new employee training rooms.

The company also has added several new lines of equipment, including cutting machines, plasma machines; five overhead cranes that cover the entire shop area; straight line tables; welding machines; vertical milling machines; and a separate paint and finishing booth.

Heydari also says that move provides the company with better freeway and street/delivery access compared to the old location.

Bavarian Polymers Increases Capacity
Bavarian Polymers USA Inc., an extrusion and fenestration provider, announced that it has expanded its operation in Dickson, Tenn. The company added 4.5 million pounds/year of twin screw extrusion capacity during the fourth quarter of 2009.

“This is an exciting time for us and our customers in the window and door industry as we continue to demonstrate our active commitment to delivering the advanced products and necessary supply levels to meet the needs of this very demanding market,” says Robert Weishaeupl, chief executive officer.

GANA Joins Zero Energy Commercial Buildings Consortium
The Glass Association of North America (GANA) announced that it is now a member of the Zero Energy Commercial Buildings Consortium, a group of organizations interested in advancing energy-efficient commercial building technologies, practices and policies. The Consortium is working with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to achieve a market transition to zero net energy commercial buildings by 2030. The effort is in response to the creation of the Zero Net Energy Commercial Buildings Initiative (CBI) by Congress in 2007.  GANA currently is the only commercial glass association in the Consortium.

The Consortium’s initial task is to compile and review data on current and emerging technologies, systems and practices needed for zero-energy commercial buildings, and to work with the DOE to identify the strategies to address cost reductions and non-cost barriers to widespread market adoption of these technologies. According to GANA, several technologies and systems developed by the glass and glazing industry will fit prominently into the mix.

Additionally, Consortium members will work with DOE in the short term to plan, coordinate and assist in implementing a comprehensive strategy to transform energy performance in the commercial sector through:
• Innovation – Helping to identify and characterize promising new technologies, innovative market mechanisms and effective public policies – and recommending priorities for technology research and development, demonstrations and pilot programs.

• Demonstration – Proving that technologies, market mechanisms and policies work and are well-documented prior to promoting their widespread deployment.

• Deployment – Helping to design, initiate and evaluate deployment programs for proven energy-saving technologies that are underutilized.

“There are some who feel that less glass is a solution, but we will be at the table to provide answers and information illustrating that glass is a viable and preferable tool in sustainable design,” says Bill Yanek, GANA executive vice president. 

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