Volume 45, Issue 6 - June 2010


CEO Hathaway Explains Reasoning
Behind Oldcastle’s New Name

Oldcastle Glass officially has a new name. It became Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope™ on June 1.

In an exclusive interview with USGlass, Ted Hathaway, chief executive officer of the Santa Monica, Calif.-based supplier, said the company had become “boxed in” by a name that didn’t indicate the full breadth of its product offering.

“For many years we were functioning as Oldcastle Glass but really, since 2003 when we bought our first architectural glazing business, Southwest Aluminum Systems, we’ve been migrating into a building envelope provider,” Hathaway said.

The new name is intended to better brand the company as a one-stop supplier of a range of glass- and metal-related products.

Being a supplier of integrated building
envelopes in no way has an adverse impact on our customers;
in fact, it helps our customers.
—Ted Hathaway

“We’d go to AIA Conventions and hold symposiums and people would say ‘oh, I didn’t know you did curtainwall, I didn’t know you did skylights,’ etc., so finally we realized we needed to address it,” Hathaway said.

Susan Trimble, director of corporate communications, said company officials began considering the change well over a year ago.

“We looked at a lot of different possibilities … we went through a long process of about two to three months trying to find something that we felt was appropriate,” Trimble said. Maintaining the Oldcastle name was an important part of the search. “We didn’t want to have an unrelated name,” Trimble added.

According to Hathaway, the tagline best defines the company’s shift. “We started out with ‘where glass becomes architecture’ and that evolved into ‘pushing the building envelope’ and now it’s ‘engineering your creativity,’ which is really who we are,” he said.

He added, “We wanted to differentiate ourselves. Viracon says it’s ‘the leader in glass fabrication.’ We wanted to set our sights higher, and so now our tagline is ‘engineering your creativity.’“

The new name is intended to reflect the company’s shift toward integrated project delivery.

“Parts and pieces are a thing of the past, design-bid-build has proven to be less than efficient. Integrated project delivery certainly has real potential,” Hathaway said. “Whether working with an owner, an architect or a general contractor, we have a full understanding of design and integration. We’re not just making commercial windows that go into someone else’s curtainwall, we’re not fabricating glass for someone else’s window.”

Hathaway discounted the idea that the name change might be cause for concern among some contract glaziers. He said that the overall shift toward integrated project delivery is intended to help the company’s core customer, the glazing contractor.

“Being a supplier of integrated building envelopes in no way has an adverse impact on our customers; in fact, it helps our customers. If we speak to those customers that buy from different people, they run into problems of accountability and reliability. If you ask a glazing contractor how it manages, it’s a task for them,” Hathaway said. “When you source different products on a project and you have a schedule problem or a quality problem everybody suffers.

“Our preference is always to be supply-only and to work in partnership with contract glaziers,” he added.

Hathaway explained, “We do [the installation on] roughly 6-10 projects per year which are large, monumental project but the lion’s share of the installation is done by our customers. And those customers are looking for companies that have financial stability. How many [suppliers] have filed for bankruptcy? How many are teetering? We have stability.”

Trimble noted that in addition to sending a message to architects, building owners and glazing contractors, the new name also is intended to help unify employees across divisions.

She said that the company began notifying employees of the potential change in mid-May with an email blast, followed by brochures, samples of business cards and letterhead. Those visuals were supplemented with items such as logo baseball caps for all employees and hardhats for those who needed them. “The idea was to give them a visual,” Trimble said.
Hathaway notes that feedback from the company’s sales organizations has been positive.

“From an external perspective, it clarifies what we do and who we are and from an internal perspective, it gives everyone across the full spectrum of acquisitions, from glass fabricators to curtainwall engineering companies, a common point of unification,” Hathaway said. “Everybody now understands the mission and the mission is now that we are the leading supplier of building envelope solutions in North America.”

International Aluminum, Atrium Corp. Emerge from Chapter 11
The spring brought good news for two companies that filed for bankruptcy in January 2010; both International Aluminum Corp. in Monterey Park, Calif., and Atrium Cos. Inc. in Dallas have emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Following its reorganization, International Aluminum now will be called International Architectural Group LLC. Its brands—United States Aluminum, RACO Interior Products, International Window and International Extrusion—will retain their names.

Customers, employees and other partners are expected to be unaffected by the new corporate structure, according to information from the company. In addition, court documents note that none of the companies’ warranty obligations will be dismissed as a result of the reorganization.

Under the confirmed plan, the company’s secured indebtedness will be satisfied through a combination of new equity, new term notes and a cash payment to its senior lenders. According to court documents, those terms include: cash on hand of the loan parties in excess of $20 million (net of actual and estimated costs and expenses of the restructuring); 100 percent of the common equity of IAC Holdings as reorganized; and a 5-year loan in the aggregate principal amount of $38 million.

Trade vendors and suppliers are to receive full payment of all pre-Chapter 11 claims upon the company’s effective date or in the ordinary course of business.

During the restructuring process, United States Aluminum representatives report that the brand has worked to refocus and retool in order to adapt to a marketplace that has endured historic volatility over the last several years. “As we emerge from this process, we are engaging the industry with a renewed focus and reinvigorated determination to provide the market with a complete line of well designed fenestration products on a competitive basis,” says Jim Cenname, executive vice president. “Today, we are looking forward, developing great new products and adjusting our business plan to make United States Aluminum the most competitive architectural aluminum supplier in the industry.”

Atrium Cos. emerged from Chapter 11 following an April hearing that approved the company’s second reorganization plan.

Atrium officials say the company has reduced its outstanding debt by almost 60 percent, from $680 million at the time of filing to approximately $280 million at emergence. In addition, the company has secured $170 million in new equity from Golden Gate Capital and Kenner and Co. and $280 million in new financing.

As a result of the restructuring, Golden Gate Capital and Kenner and Co. have acquired 92.5 percent of the reorganized company’s new common stock and former bondholders have received the remaining 7.5 percent of the reorganized company’s new common stock.

Company subsidiary North Star Windows also has completed the restructuring process in Canada, under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

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