Volume 46, Issue 10 - November 2011


Solutia to Acquire Southwall Technologies for Approx. $113 Million

Solutia is set to acquire glass and film products company Southwall Technologies for an “aggregate equity purchase price of about $113 million” according to the company.

“This acquisition positions Solutia as the world leader in advanced sputtering technology, combining the industry’s leading commercial expertise with next-generation innovation capabilities to provide advanced film solutions to the premium window film and electronics markets,” says Jeffry N. Quinn, chief executive officer?(CEO). “Our growth strategy remains focused on enhancing our portfolio through synergistic bolt-on acquisitions that allow Solutia to better serve high-growth markets and support the success of our existing businesses. This is just one component of our strategy to put our strong cash flow to work to create value for our shareholders.”

Solutia will gain Southwall’s XIR® Technology, used in VKool films, and all of the company’s manufacturing capabilities for window film production. Solutia also will now be offering a new product where film is “encapsulated between Saflex® polyvinyl butyral interlayers to form a protective barrier in laminated glass against the harmful effects of the sun.”

Solutia has announced that Southwall stockholders will receive $13.60/share in cash for all outstanding shares of Southwall common stock tendered in the offer.

“We look forward to realizing the potential of Southwall’s portfolio of energy efficiency solutions as we combine our innovation in sputtering technology with Solutia’s commercial and market expertise,” says Dennis Capovilla, CEO of Southwall Technologies. “Together we will focus on the delivery of next-generation films to our customers that achieve unmatched levels of solar performance and optical clarity.”

Kawneer Working to Repair Flood-Ravaged Bloomsburg Plant
The Bloomsburg, Pa., manufacturing facility of Norcross, Ga.-based Kawneer Co., was among the victims of significant flooding after Hurricane Irene barreled up the East Coast, August 27-29.

In a letter to customers dated September 13, Bob Leyland, director of sales, declared force majeure and informed that the plant had temporarily closed for repairs. The facility employs 400 people and manufactures commercial windows and storefronts, says Mike Belwood, director of media and corporate relations for Kawneer parent company Alcoa.
Shipments from the plant will be affected by the shut-down. “… At a minimum, the shipments scheduled for September and October will be delayed,” according to the letter.

“They are scheduling orders placed now to be delivered in December,” says Don Chapman, manager of United Plate Glass in Sunbury, Pa. “Usually the turnaround time is no more than four weeks.”

“We are working very closely with our customers and communicating regularly with them about the situation,” says Belwood.
“We’re in recovery mode.”

Kawneer and the Alcoa Foundation awarded a $35,000 grant to the American Red Cross chapter in Bloomsburg, Pa., to aid local victims of the flooding.

PPG to Open Glass Fabrication Plant in Barrie, Ontario
PPG Industries’ flat glass business has announced that it will begin operation in January 2012 of an 80,000-square-foot plant in Barrie, Ontario, that will provide 20 full-time jobs in glass cutting, fabrication of insulating glass units and distribution.

The new site replaces a facility near Toronto in North York, Ontario.

“The Barrie plant will provide better access to our customers and enable us to operate more efficiently,” says Frank Caporiccio, general manager for PPG’s flat glass trade products in Canada.

The plant will occupy part of the 300,000-square-foot former Bemis Manufacturing facility at 200 Fairview Road in Barrie. The plant will begin operation in January 2012.

New SAF-West CA Facility to Serve Asian Market
Huber Street Properties’ (HSP) recent purchase of a facility for Southern Aluminum Finishing (SAF)-West in Redding, Calif., will help SAF to serve Asia in a more timely manner, says James McClatchey, vice president of SAF. HSP is a closely related entity to SAF.

“As far as commercial construction is concerned, China is the strongest market,” McClatchey says. “The new location will make our delivery time faster to Asia, as that market develops further.”

SAF-West serves Western U.S., Canada and Pacific Rim markets with architectural aluminum distribution, fabrication and finishing services.

HSP is owned by the four McClatchey brothers, says Penn McClatchey, vice president of SAF. “It owns all the McClatchey properties. It’s a four-way partnership, and SAF is owned by three brothers. A North Valley bank foreclosed on the Redding property and Huber bought it.”

The Redding facility currently doesn’t anodize, Penn McClatchey says. “It’s a 20,000-square-foot facility, and we distribute and have a sheet metal fabricating facility,” he says. “We will add an anodizing line and occupy an additional 50,000 square feet. We will also employ another 50 people in the next few years.” The new line is expected to run next summer, and have a capacity of 6 million pounds a year or 6 million square feet a year.

HSP also plans to upgrade the building to attract new tenants for the facilities not operated by SAF. “Ideally we’ll find tenants that would be suppliers or customers,” Penn McClatchey says. “An example of an ideal tenant would be an extruder who can supply our extrusions. This could further improve our delivery times, especially on large orders.”

“We want to be the fastest provider of every product that we market, and want to be the technology leader in the industry,” James McClatchey says. “The secret to our success is diversification across geography and market.”

ATI Test Lab Acquires HTL
York, Pa.-based Architectural Testing Inc.’s (ATI) purchase of the assets of Riviera Beach, Fla.-based Hurricane Test Laboratory (HTL) brings all of HTL’s customer testing under one roof, says Vinu Abraham, former chief executive officer of HTL. Following the acquisition, Abraham now serves as the vice president, Southeast Region, for ATI.

The HTL board sold the assets of the company to ATI in late September. ATI first approached HTL about purchasing its customer list and equipment exactly two years ago, says Henry Taylor, president of ATI. “Subsequently, both companies began to realize the benefits of a merger, and discussions were renewed about six months ago.”

Through the transaction, HTL now has access to more test service capabilities and ATI’s strong technology base, Abraham says. “Prior to the merger we were primarily an air water structural and blast facility,” he says. “ATI also does thermal, acoustic, forensic and field testing. And HTL clients routinely have a need for some of those services. I’d say 50 percent of HTL clients already had a relationship with ATI.”

HTL has three facilities in Texas, Georgia and Florida, and ATI has 12 facilities across the country. The acquisition gives ATI a larger footprint in the Florida market, Taylor says. “We also gain a new testing facility in the Atlanta area,” he says. “The addition of the Lubbock, Texas, area is particularly valuable as an ‘arena blast facility’ that expands our blast testing outside the laboratory environment.”

No major “defections” are expected due to the expanded nature of other ATI services that can now be handled and administered through the HTL locations, Taylor says. “Nothing of any major consequence will be changed for the HTL clients.”

In total, the 15 facilities employ about 300 employees, Abraham says.

“At the present time, the HTL staff will remain with ATI but with some changes in responsibilities as a result of duplication,” Taylor says. “Functions such as marketing, accounting and some administrative services will be consolidated in time as necessary. Likely we will be hiring employees to develop a strong field testing service in these new markets and we will be expanding the building sciences disciplines, particularly in building envelope commissioning.”

Trulite Glass & Aluminum to Distribute TGP Fire-Rated Product
Trulite Glass & Aluminum Solutions of Tamarac, Fla., has partnered with Technical Glass Products (TGP) of Snoqualmie, Wash., to distribute the FireLite family of fire-rated glass ceramic products throughout its distribution network. The new partnership is designed to provide quick access to a broader range of fire-rated glazing solutions.

“FireLite is one of the most recognized brands in fire-rated glass, and is an important part of our comprehensive glazing offerings,” says Ben Thomas, director of strategic marketing for Trulite. “We’re excited to work with TGP to bring FireLite to more markets across the U.S.”

Hartung Glass Industries Acquires Personal Touch Glass
Hartung Glass Industries in Seattle has acquired Personal Touch Glass (PTG), a Lodi, Calif., subsidiary of Glasswerks L.A. Inc. Specializing in fast lead times for commercial and residential insulating glass units, Personal Touch Glass will operate as part of Hartung effective immediately. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Since a majority of PTG’s products have less than a three-day lead time, the addition of Personal Touch Glass will complement our existing lines and tremendously enhance our ability to better serve the region,” says Nick Sciola, Hartung president and owner. “The addition of PTG is very exciting as the company has a highly experienced and talented in-place management team, skilled workforce and an existing fleet of trucks delivering to customers throughout northern California and Nevada.”

The Personal Touch acquisition, Hartung’s third in 20 months, advances the company’s mission of controlled growth and to increase its presence on the West Coast.

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Sage Architectural Products LLC in Austin, Texas, will serve the state’s central and southern region as manufacturer’s representative for Tubelite Inc. in Walker, Mich. Sage owners Todd and Kim Joubert share nearly 30 years of industry experience...

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