Volume 47, Issue 11 - November 2012


Koch Industries Purchases 44 Percent Interest in Guardian

Guardian Industries has reached an agreement allowing KGCI LLC (a subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc.) to purchase a minority interest in the company. According to Guardian, the transaction was still pending (at press time); the finalization hinges on a variety of factors including regulatory approval in other countries.

In an exclusive interview with USGlass, Earnest Thompson, director, marketing and brand management at Guardian Industries, expanded on the news. When asked what made Koch stand out among other potential investors he stressed the fact that the two companies’ cultures and management practices are well matched.

“I think it was the fact that our business approach and philosophies are really well aligned,” he says. “Our cultures are very similar; we are both strong manufacturing companies.”

Thompson also noted Guardian’s long-standing tradition toward investment.

“As you know we have always taken a long term investment view from the days of Bill Davidson,” says Thompson.

“We were interested in making this investment for two reasons,” says Paul Baltzer, director of communications for Koch. “First, Guardian has a good competitive position in its principal products with growth opportunities and a culture similar to ours, with an 80-year history of innovation and growth. Second, many of our core capabilities are applicable to their businesses and should be able to enhance their performance.”

Koch Industries is a privately-held multinational corporation based in Wichita, Kan.

Bonnell Corp. Acquires Aacoa Inc.
Bonnell Aluminum (also known as the William L. Bonnell Co. Inc.), a subsidiary of Tredegar Corp., has acquired full ownership of Aacoa Inc., a Midwestern manufacturer of aluminum extrusions in North America. According to the Bonnell release, the transaction was valued at $50.8 million and includes facilities in both Elkhart, Ind., and Niles, Mich.

“We have been actively searching for an acquisition that meets our stated goals for expanding into markets outside of building and construction,” says Duncan Crowdis, president of Bonnell Aluminum. “In Aacoa, we found a top-quality manufacturer that will help us move toward our strategic objectives for both growth and diversification. By leveraging our combined capabilities in extruding, anodizing and fabrication, we will be able to offer high-quality products and services to a large base of customers and have the opportunity to profitably grow in attractive industry segments.”

Companies Receive ISO 9001 Certification
American Renolit Corp. announced it has achieved ISO 9001:2008 certification. In August 2012 the company received formal registration approval for its production facility in La Porte, Ind., and the sales subsidiary in Swedesboro, N.J., and is now officially recognized as an ISO 9001 certified company.

Fonda, N.Y.-based Keymark Corp., an aluminum extrusion manufacturing and finishing firm, has earned ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System certification after 18 months of “good management practices, policies and procedures,” according to information from the company.

Alpen Purchases Fiberglass Window Business Back
Alpen High Performance Products, based in Boulder, Colo., has purchased the assets of its Colorado-based fiberglass window and architectural glass operations back from Serious Energy Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif. Brad Begin, one of the prior owners of Alpen before its sale to Serious, is back at the helm as CEO.

“We [my business partner and I] had a long-time continued interest at potentially buying it back,” says Begin. “When Serious bought Alpen they made investments that were well executed and successful and we as prior owners always loved the products. We see a continued momentum.”

Begin says there will now be local owners involved in the day-to-day operations.

Alpen’s window and glass operation was founded in 1981 and operated continuously under the Alpen brand until its acquisition by Serious Materials (now Serious Energy Inc.) in 2008. The fiberglass window products previously sold under the SeriousWindows brand will now be sold under the Alpen brand. Serious Energy, which owned the company for four years, is working in tandem with Alpen HHP to ensure a transition back to the Alpen brand. The company’s operations and customer service staff will remain intact, according to Alpen.

“Clearly it will be the same people producing the same product and out of the same facility,” says Begin. “We are working hard for a smooth transition of the brand and we don’t anticipate significant issues, as we have operated under the Alpen name for more than 30 years. We have a strong reputation as an innovator in the commercial environment and have achieved success globally and nationally.”

In a statement issued by Serious Energy Inc. regarding the sale, the company hinted that the two organizations may work together on future opportunities.

“Serious Energy and Alpen, which have a longstanding relationship and a shared interest in high-performance suspended films, are exploring opportunities for future product, distribution and technology collaboration,” states the release.

Alpen will continue to manufacture architectural glass and fiberglass windows at its Longmont facilities and will concentrate on its high-performance, custom fiberglass residential and commercial window products. Serious Energy will retain its residential vinyl window and door operations produced at its Vandergrift, Pa., plant, according to the release.

Ohio Governor Tours Quanex Facility
Quanex Building Products welcomed Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich to tour its newly renovated facility in Cambridge, Ohio, in September. Recent renovations to the 417,000-square-foot facility included a transformation of the plant floor to optimize efficiencies and double the company’s production output. The entry was given a new look with an LED-lit globe signifying Quanex’s global presence, composite flooring and a branded stone walkway leading into the entrance, according to the company. Quanex also added a new customer experience center featuring a video wall, product samples and a meeting space overlooking the research and development area.

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