Canadian-based manufacturer Loewen of Steinbach, Manitoba, has been acquired by VKR Holding of Denmark.

“Through much consideration, the Loewen family shareholders have come to the collective decision that the needs of the company and those of the Loewen shareholders would be best served through a transition of ownership to a new ownership group,” says Clyde Loewen, leader of the Loewen family shareholder group. “The Loewen shareholders believe that VKR will bring the resources, capabilities and character to ensure the future success of Loewen in the marketplace while maintaining respect for all of its stakeholders as well as for the culture of the staff and the community.”

VKR is no stranger to the window business, says VKR CEO Leif Jensen.

“We already own several vertical window companies and now we extend those activities in Canada and the [United States] where the population growth is larger than in Europe,” he says.

He does admit, however, that the Canadian and American markets have been affected by severe decline in the last three years but he still sees great promise.

“The markets are slowly stabilizing and we see great potential in Loewen, not least because the company holds a strong niche position in the high-end segment of the market and engages in extensive product development,” adds Jensen.

The existing Loewen executive team will remain in place. Al Babiuk, previously chief operating officer, will assume the chief executive officer role, and Clyde Loewen will remain as the executive responsible for products. Charles Loewen will sit as a member of the board of directors. Claes Warnander, a member of VKR’s team, will act as chairman of the board.

Babiuk and Warnander also point out that there are no intentions to move Loewen’s head office and main manufacturing out of Steinbach.

Loewen was established in 1905 and makes custom wood windows for the high-end market and sell primarily in the United States and Canada. (CLICK HERE for an in-depth interview with Charles Loewen, which appeared in the November 2008 issue of DWM magazine.)


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