Guardian Industries has announced that it has reached an agreement allowing KGCI LLC (a subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc.) to purchase a minority stock in the company. In an exclusive interview with, Earnest Thompson, director, marketing and brand management at Guardian Industries, expanded on the news.

“We briefed Guardian employees around the world today and so far people are pretty excited,” says Thompson.

When asked what made Koch stand out among other potential investors he stressed the fact that the two company’s 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.”

When pressed for further details he noted the long standing tradition at Guardian toward investment.

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

“Koch represents an outstanding minority investor for Guardian,” say Guardian officials in the statement. “Like Guardian, [Koch] takes a long-term, growth-oriented view toward business.”

Guardian notes in their statement that the transaction is still pending; the finalization hinges on a variety of factors including regulatory approval in other countries. The Guardian Board of Directors established a long-term ownership strategy for the deal prior to the announcement.

“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 whose major industries include refining, chemicals and pollution control among a variety of other holdings. The company is based in Witchita, Kan. The multi-billion dollar company currently owns Georgia-Pacific, Flint Hills Resources LLC and Invista B.V.

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