Going ViralJuly 22nd, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs
A look at How the Industry’s News Unfolded Amid COVID-19
By Drew Vass
It was December 31 when Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Six days later, the World Health Organization (WHO) published news of a yet-to-be-determined virus, providing infection and prevention control guidance for health workers. January 11, China alerted the world to dire implications by reporting its first related death—a 61-year-old man. The next day, the country officially shared the genetic sequence of what would come to be known as: COVID-19.
As cases grew through mid-January, eventually landing in Thailand, WHO demonstrated syncopation by warning January 14 about a potential human-to-human outbreak. A week later, the virus surfaced in Washington state. (Though, we now know it was likely here much earlier.) By January 23, an Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations was unable to decide whether the outbreak warranted a public health emergency of international concern, asking for 10 days to decide. On January 30, that decision was made easier by 7,818 total confirmed cases worldwide—82 landing in 18 countries outside of China.
Braced for potential short comings in supply chains, door and window companies watched eagerly, making every attempt to protect employees and customers, while finding ways to source materials and stay open. In the meantime, as news of COVID-19 grew and mandatory shutdowns loomed, companies proceeded as planned with everything from acquisitions to court cases.
In lieu of [DWM]’s What’s News department and amid this unprecedented course of events, the following is a chronological account for how the industry’s news unfolded amid a worldwide pandemic. While some reports have been abbreviated for length, the full articles can be found on dwmmag.com.
The first death is reported outside of China—a 44-year-old from Wuhan who died in the Philippines
WHO releases a Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan
Kodiak Acquires Medallion Industries
The owners of Medallion Industries Inc. and Kodiak Building Partners Inc. announced the acquisition of Medallion effective February 3, 2020. Medallion, is based in Portland, Ore. Founded by Norm Tschida in 1971, Medallion was most recently owned by its senior management team, including president, Tim Mahaffy, chief operating officer and senior vice president Julie Nix, vice president Mike Mahaffy, and chief financial officer Roger Ernst. According to the company, Mahaffy, Nix, Mike Mahaffy, and Ernst will continue to lead Medallion, as it joins the general lumber group at Kodiak
Semco Employee Seeks Retributions Over Shutdown
After learning on December 30 that he would no longer be an employee of Semco Windows and Doors, Patrick Woeller has since filed a lawsuit, alleging that the company violated aspects of the U.S. Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifi cation Act (WARN) and Wisconsin’s Business Closing and Mass Layoff Law. Both require employers to provide 60 days’ notice ahead of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs. While the company did follow the WARN requirements, it provided just one day’s notice. Local media reported that Woeller, backed by the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters union, is seeking 60 days’ pay and benefits, along with compensation for accrued and unused vacation
Deceuninck Hosts Fifth Annual Event in Ohio
The company welcomed guests to its Monroe, Ohio, headquarters for the fifth-annual Future Fabricators event. Amid a two-day workshop, attendees learned about the company’s operations, the state of the fenestration industry, product innovations, and advanced material science for next-gen application
The death toll in mainland China rises to 811, surpassing the number from SARS in 2003
WHO officially names COVID-19
NAHB Pauses to Urge House Opposition of H.R. 3962
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) urged the House to oppose H.R. 3962, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2019, warning that the legislation would exacerbate the nation’s housing affordability woes. Arn McIntyre, a green builder from Grand Rapids, Mich., spoke on the association’s behalf to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, suggesting that several provisions in the bill would raise home construction costs while doing little to boost energy efficiency.
A string of countries report spikes in cases and related deaths
Legal Proceedings Carry on for Steves and Jeld-Wen
In one of many legal battles waged between the two door manufacturers in recent years, Steves and Sons Inc. (Steves) filed a new antitrust lawsuit against Jeld-Wen Inc.—including a request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Jeld-Wen’s “continuing string of anticompetitive practices,” officials for Steves allege. The court noted the possibility for Steves to succeed with its new suit. By withholding “hundreds of thousands of doorskins,” Jeld-Wen forced Steves to turn away numerous customers, officials for Steves allege.
Sierra Pacific Announces an Agreement to Acquire Semco
The company reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Merrill, Wis.-based Semco Windows and Doors, which closed abruptly on December 31, 2019. With operations in Merrill, Sierra Pacific is set to acquire Semco’s 275,000-square-foot, main manufacturing facility, along with all of its production equipment.
Jeld-Wen Announces Modest Growth as Demands for Housing Increased
Gary S. Michel, the company’s president and CEO, announced a “65% improvement in 2019 free cash flow,” for the three months and full year ending December 31, 2019. Fourth-quarter core revenue grew in North America by one percent. Twelve-month cash flow from operations improved by $83.0 million year-over-year to $302.7 million. The outlook for 2020 included net revenue growth of 1% to 4%.
HUD Reports Surge in Permits
The U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department reported a 3.6% decrease in total housing starts in January compared to an upwardly revised December reading. Those numbers led to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.57 million units, according to the report. Overall permits surged to a 13-year high.
Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases announces that U.S. health officials were preparing for a pandemic
The U.S. stock market plummets, succumbing to the realities of COVID-19
Fourth Quarter Report Shows End-of-Year Slump for PGT
Door and window manufacturer PGT Innovations released its fourth quarter financials for 2019. Though overall net sales for the year were higher than the same point in 2018, at $175 million, they were lower for 4Q year over year. Officials said the company expected net sales to fall between $850 and $880 million for the year.
As CDC reports community spread, Vice President Pence is asked to lead a coronavirus task force
Building Industry Partners Completes Sale of Homewood Holdings
Officials for Building Industry Partners LLC (BIP), a private equity investment firm, announced the sale of its LBM dealer platform company, Homewood Holdings, to American Construction Source (ACS). Financial terms of the transaction were undisclosed. ACS is a national building materials distribution platform backed by private equity firms.
In a move that would later be replaced by cancellation, officials for NürnbergMesse announced the postponement of Fensterbau Frontale to “a date in 2020 yet to be specified.” The decision followed feedback from customers and industry representatives, a press release explained
As the first death in the U.S. is recorded, travel restrictions are placed on Iran, Italy and South Korea
FHIA Remodeling Acquires Mad City Windows and Baths
The move extends FHIA’s reach into Wisconsin. Post-closing, the company is expected to have annual sales in excess of $300 million, officials said. Both companies will retain their current organizational structures going forward, while offering a broader portfolio of services.
Huttig Reports Net Sales Decrease for 4Q
For the fourth quarter and year ending December 31, 2019, Huttig Building Products Inc. reported building product sales decreased 7.8% to $77.1 million. Net sales from continuing operations were $180.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, a decrease of $15.8 million, or approximately 8.1% compared to $196.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Cases surpass 100 in the U.S.
Pella Case Proceeds to Federal Court
After an amended complaint was filed in January 2020, a case against Pella Corp. involving alleged civil rights violations began the process of transferring to federal court. A notice of removal was signed by defendants Dana Volkay, Pella accounting department manager, and Michelle DeMarco, Pella human resources manager. According to Beil’s amended complaint, she allegedly experienced “age-related animus” in 2019. Beil was fired from her position on December 6, 2019, the amended complaint said. She is suing the defendants under allegations associated with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD)
A Lawsuit is Filed on Behalf of Jeld-Wen Holding Shareholders
The suit alleges that Jeld-Wen violated federal securities laws, leaving shareholders to suffer damages—inviting investors who took at least 40,000 shares of the company’s stock between January 26, 2017, and October 15, 2018, to join in. The company said its products compete based on price, and described the market for doors as “highly competitive.”
As cases eclipse 100,000 worldwide, an $8.3 billion emergency spending package is signed in the U.S.
Quanex Reports Slight Decrease in Q1 Net Sales
The company released its financial report ending January 31, 2020, highlighting market growth in the European fenestration segment. Net sales for the quarter were approximately $197 million, representing a slight decrease year over year.
Beekman Group Expands into Industrial Services with the Acquisition of GED
Officials for Beekman Investment Partners IV, LP, announced March 6 that an affiliate completed the acquisition of GED Integrated Solutions Inc., stating “Their high market share speaks volumes about the effectiveness of their automation products, responsive service, and customer support.”
U.S. confirmed cases reach 500
A New Fensterbau Date is Announced
NürnbergMesse management announced the new dates of June 16 – 19, 2020, noting that its 2022 event is still set to take place in March of that year. (The 2020 event was later cancelled.
WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic; additional travel restrictions are placed
Exhibitors Begin Backing Out
After a roughly three-month postponement, two exhibitors announced they were pulling out of Fensterbau. With the new dates too close for comfort regarding health risks, officials for Roto announced they would forego the show until 2022. Jim Thornton, president of Centor North America, said his company made its decision even before the show was officially postponed. Veka’s North American division also decided not to attend.
Mans Lumber and Millwork Acquires Millwork of Troy
“We are honored and excited to welcome the Legendary Millwork team to the Mans family,” said Doug Mans, Mans Lumber and Millwork president
President Trump declares a national emergency
Fenestration Canada Weighs Spring Conference
Fenestration Canada released a plan of action for its spring conference, announcing it would proceed with the event, but continue monitoring. The event was set to take place June 3-6 in Charlottetown, PEI, Canada (eventually made virtual)
Vytex Moves Westward via St. Louis
Company officials announced a new location in St. Louis, as the vinyl replacement windows and patio door manufacturer seeks to expand westward. Officials said the company has a “long-standing partnership” with at least one large window retailer in the area and also plans to lure in “key specialty window companies.
Markel Announces Plans to Acquire Majority of Lansing
Markel announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in Lansing Building Products, while Lansing simultaneously entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the distribution business of Harvey Building Products. Markel, through its subsidiary Markel Ventures, makes long-term investments. Both transactions are expected to close in the second quarter of 2020. Additional terms were not disclosed.
Builder Confidence Starts to Decline
Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes fell two points in March, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Sentiment levels held firm in the six months prior.
DOL Grants Limited Exemption from EEOC
In an effort to provide relief to companies impacted by the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a memorandum, granting a three-month exemption and waiver from some of its requirements—including an equal opportunity clause in all covered supply, service and construction contracts
Trump signs a coronavirus relief package
WM Millwork Marketplace Cancels
The Moulding and Millwork Producers Association canceled its spring event, citing the recommendations of limiting travel and a desire help avoid exposing members and guests to the virus. The event had been scheduled for April 19-22.
Housing Starts to Tip
The U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department announced that total housing starts decreased 1.5% in February from an upwardly revised January reading, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.6 million units. Overall permits declined 5.5% to 1.46 million. The February reading of 1.6 million was the number of housing units builders would begin if they kept pace for 12 months
Officials from China’s National Health Commission report no new locally transmitted cases; U.S. cases surpass 10,000
Another Backs out of Fensterbau
“Due to the very dynamic development and the constantly changing level of knowledge in connection with the coronavirus, we have decided not to attend the Fensterbau Frontale in June 2020,” officials for Swisspacer stated in a press release
Production Moves Forward With Door and Window Companies
As the COVID-19 virus turned world economies upside down, door and window companies told [DWM] they were still working. According to Adam Weinrub, president of Vytex Windows, his company was still open and operating on a regular production schedule. While some employees worked from home, others practiced increased efforts for sanitization and distancing. Officials for Viwinco Inc. reported similar conditions, while general manager Michael Duncan noted, “We are understandably seeing some absenteeism and that is okay. We are also being ultra-cautious with people who are not feeling well and having them stay home”
Fenestration Canada Cancels Spring Conference
Officials for Fenestration Canada announced the cancellation of its annual spring conference. Next year’s conference will be held at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort in Kelowna, British Columbia
MI Reports Worker Tests Positive
Officials for MI Windows and Doors’ (MI) reported that an employee tested positive at its Hegins, Pa., facility. The team member began experiencing symptoms on March 15 and did not return to work. Officials said the company immediately contacted an expert remediation contractor to analyze the situation. Based on the time since the team member was last at work, along with the company’s cleaning practices and adherence to Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the contractor considered the work area safe to occupy.
White House and Senate Leaders Agree to Stimulus Package
Following days of negotiations and failed attempts, the U.S. Senate finally agreed to a $2 trillion stimulus package, aimed at propping up U.S. households and businesses. Included were one-time payments to households, expanded unemployment and $367 billion aimed at small businesses to help extend payrolls.
Discrepancies Among States Rage On
As more states tack onto the list of those in temporary shutdown, after declaring a state of emergency earlier in the month, “All in-person retail businesses that are not life-sustaining are ordered to close,” Kentucky governor Andy Beshear declared.
U.S. now leads the world in total cases
President Trump signs stimulus package
New York State Calls Off Non-Essential Construction
The state stopped non-essential construction work in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. New guidelines were released, shutting down all but emergency construction, such as a project necessary to protect the health and safety of occupants.
DHS Designates Construction and Building Products
At the end of March, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued version 2.0 of its guidance, this time including construction, building product manufacturing and related supply chains as essential critical infrastructure. A number of companies said they remained closed, at least on a temporary basis. Others said they remained open while exercising precautions
U.S. surpasses 200,000 cases
Thermal Windows and Doors Succumbs
The month began on somber news, as the first door and window company succumbed to the effects of the virus. [DWM] received notice that Thermal Windows and Doors in Murrysville, Pa., permanently closed. With the promise of a $2 trillion economic stimulus package close at hand, but no end in sight for the effects of a pandemic, the company was forced to cease, said CEO and president Gary Acinapura. The company notified its 114 employees of its closure March 26.
Zuern Building Products Acquires Window Design Center
The Wisconsin-based company picked up Window Design Center, continuing business in the Delafield area and planning to have a showroom at each location. In addition to the Marvin brand, company officials said it continues to offer Hayfield Windows and Doors, Quaker Windows and Doors, and Therma-Tru Exterior Doors.
More than one million people across 171 countries and six continents have fallen ill, killing at least 51,000
Companies Grow Anxious Over Stimulus Package
As the federal government promised a $2 trillion stimulus package, door and window companies facing fallout said they were busy looking forward, weighing the benefits. The fine print was yet to be provided, but, “From the 1,000-foot view, it looks like it could be not only helpful to FeneTech, but to our clients as well,” said Ron Crowl, president and CEO. Meanwhile, when stimulus funds would begin to reach door and window companies, they wouldn’t “be a cure-all,” warned Michael Allbritton, president and CEO of Windows USA
Quanex Withdraws Prior Guidance
As a precautionary measure, Quanex Building Products Corp. in April elected to draw an additional $50 million from its $325 million Senior Secured Revolving Credit Facility due 2023. Officials said the move stems from an effort to increase its cash position and preserve financial flexibility due to uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
ASSA ABLOY Announces Preliminary 1Q Results
“Due to the spread of Covid-19 and the unprecedented lock down globally in our core markets, the start of 2020 has been challenging,” announced Nico Delvaux, president and CEO. Group sales increased in the first quarter by 3%, while organic sales growth was down by 3%. The company’s organic growth declined by 34% in Asia-Pacific and declined by 4% in Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
Window Nation Expands
Window Nation opened a new showroom in Boston, introducing job opportunities between southern New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The location is the company’s 10th and its first in Massachusetts. The move came as the company modified its business practices, offering residents the option to receive a virtual consultation and estimate via video conferencing. “People have much bigger issues. But amid our current climate, we wanted to do everything we could to ensure employment for our team and find a safe way to support those customers that waited for the warmer weather to tackle some home improvement projects, like windows,” said Aaron Magden, co-founder and president.
NAHB Calls for Builders to do Their Part
After the Department of Homeland Security designated construction essential, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) urged members and all residential construction companies to halt work for 10 minutes, to educate workers on what they should do to keep themselves safe from the coronavirus and to help “flatten the curve” for everyone.
Jeld-Wen Forced to Undo Doorskins Rationing for Steves
A decision by Jeld-Wen to ration doorskins in 2019 came back to bite the company amid the already trying times of COVID-19. The manufacturer announced March 30 that it would suspend operations at some locations due to the impacts of the virus. In the meantime, Senior U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne issued an Order of Preliminary Injunction April 10, requiring the company to undo its recent allocations of doorskins that limited the number available to Steves and Sons Inc. (Steves). The decision follows a suit filed by Steves February 14, 2020, alleging that Jeld-Wen persisted in anticompetitive practices, following antitrust rulings against the company in prior years—this time by throttling orders. With a trial set for June 1, 2020, the court ordered that Jeld-Wen terminate allocation to Steves effective retroactively to January 1, 2020
Dodge Adjusts Construction Forecast
While Dodge Data and Analytics originally expected a 2% decline in 2020 for single family construction starts and first quarter data was strong, chief economist Richard Branch said that physical distancing and declining consumer confidence would erode the single-family sector, leaving home sales to crash. “Second quarter home sales could decline 50% to levels we saw in the Great Recession,” Branch said, adding that he doesn’t expect strong single-family growth until 2022 and 2023.
The International Monetary Fund warns that the global economy is heading for the worst downturn since the Great Depression; deaths now reported across all 50 states.
After clinging to hope for weeks, officials for NürnbergMesse announced that, in agreement with the Department of Environment and Health of the City of Nürnberg, Fensterbau was officially cancelled. According to event coordinators, the uncertain situation resulting from COVID-19 led to a declining willingness to attend.
Deceuninck Forced to Make Layoffs
Deceuninck North America announced in mid-April that, due to market conditions, economic uncertainty and its responsibility to protect employees and customers, the company laid off 30% of the employees at its Monroe, Ohio location. “Over the last few weeks, we have quickly entered a new reality, the duration of which is unclear,” said Filip Geeraert, president
and CEO of Deceuninck North America. “The new and unprecedented demands that social distancing and other protective measures have placed on our operations and facility management, combined with a severe decline in order intake, led us to take these actions.” Officials said they were optimistic that the interim changes would safeguard the company.
Jeld-Wen Files Motion to Dismiss
In its ongoing legal disputes with Steves and Sons Inc. (Steves), Jeld-Wen filed a motion to dismiss Steves’ antitrust and tortious interference claim, suggesting “this case is a breach of contract case and nothing more.” For nearly four years, “Steves and Jeld-Wen litigated a dispute that generated multiple jury verdicts, numerous decisions, and several related appeals,” a portion of Jeld-Wen’s motion reads, adding, “This is not that case.” According to the motion, Steves’ claim involves a new dispute that began in November 2019. According to Steves, any purported breach of the Supply Agreement by Jeld-Wen automatically “equates to an antitrust injury traceable back to the 2012 CMI acquisition (and hence entitles Steves to treble its breach of contract damages and possible attorneys’ fees), no matter how distantly removed in time or how remote in causal nexus that subsequent breach may be from the years-old acquisition.
White House issues guidance for reopening
Builder Confidence Drops by Historic Proportions
The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) announced that builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes plunged 42 points in April, representing the largest single monthly change in the history of the index and the lowest builder confidence reading since June 2012.
Housing Starts Measured Down in March
The U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department released reported that total housing decreased by 22.3% in March. Meanwhile, overall permits declined 6.8% to 1.35 million. Single-family starts decreased 17.5% to an 856,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate.
Several states announce plans for reopening
PGT Announces Consolidations
Officials for PGT Innovations Inc. (PGT) announced consolidations for its Florida manufacturing facilities. The company said it expected to cease production at its Orlando facility in June, where its WinDoor and Eze-Breeze products are assembled, relocating manufacturing to plants in Venice and Tampa, Fla. “Consolidation of our Florida facilities is an important step in our integration plans following the acquisition of NewSouth Window Solutions that we expect to improve our overall operations, strengthen our business and reduce costs,” said Jeff Jackson, PGT president and CEO. The consolidation is expected to reduce annualized operating expense by $3.5 to $3.8 million
Steves and Sons Ordered to Post $1 Million in Bond
A judge ruled that door maker Steves and Sons Inc. post bond in the amount of $1 million, finding the amount sufficient to cover costs and damages sustained by Jeld-Wen, should the company be found wrongfully enjoined in a case. The decision follows a recent Order of Preliminary Injunction issued by Senior U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne against Jeld-Wen, requiring the company to undo allocations of doorskins.
Therma-Tru 3D Prints Face Shields for Hospitals
Officials for Therma-Tru found a way to utilize 3D printing to produce protective face shields. While technicians at its Maumee and Edgerton, Ohio-based facilities typically use the technology to develop prototypes, the company obtained a template from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Shields and other personal protective equipment are donated to local hospitals and first responders throughout Ohio.
Import Duties Temporarily Postponed
The U.S. Department of Treasury announced it would temporarily postpone deadlines for importers to deposit certain estimated duties, taxes and fees. A temporary final rule was issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Treasury, postponing payments that would otherwise be due on the date of entry or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, for merchandise entered in March or April 2020.
Georgia allows some businesses to reopen
AmesburyTruth Forced to Temporarily Close in Mexico
The company announced in late April that it would temporarily close operations in Juarez, Mexico, after a state of emergency was declared by the government. Bob Burns, president, said thankfully the company was prepared for this possibility and able to continue serving customers
The global death toll surpasses 200,000
PGT to Hire Over 150 Employees
After announcing consolidations for its Florida facilities earlier in the month, in late April PGT Innovations (PGT) announced it would hire over 150 positions. “With the demand that we’re seeing for our products and hurricane season just weeks away, it’s more important than ever that our manufacturing teams at all of our facilities are fully-staffed,” said Jeff Jackson, president and CEO.
U.S. COVID cases top one million
EPA and OSHA Fines Proceed
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proved that COVID-19 wouldn’t interfere with proper enforcement of federal lead-based paint requirements. The agency announced a settlement with ProBuild Company LLC, for failing to comply with requirements. The firm will pay a $48,060 penalty for residential remodeling work in San Diego, Calif, where subcontractors hired to perform the work failed to comply with the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. Also in late April, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined Pompano Beach’s Assura Windows and Doors more than $80k for violations that were found at inspections in late October and early November 2019. A penalty payment plan has been established, according to OSHA’s website.
Efficient Windows Collaborative Becomes Part of NFRC
The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) announced that it acquired the Efficient Windows Collaborative (EWC) and its proprietary online Window Selection Tool. EWC has been an online resource for consumers to find high-performance windows, officials said, suggesting that together, the two will bring a new level of expertise, education, and support.
MI Windows Closes Two Milgard Production Facilities
MI Windows and Doors announced that it would close two Milgard manufacturing facilities. According to officials, the decision to shut its plants in Aurora, Colo., and Grand Prairie, Texas, stems from weakened economic conditions brought on by COVID-19. After acquiring Milgard in November 2019, officials say the company remains committed to providing Milgard-branded products and services to customers in the Denver and broader Mountain West Region from its facilities in the Western U.S.; however, the brand will no longer be available in Texas.
Worldwide cases reach 3.4 million
Court Grants in Part and Denies in Part Masonite and Jeld-Wen’s Motion to Dismiss
A fight to add additional plaintiffs to an ongoing class action lawsuit between several direct and indirect purchasers and the defendants Jeld-Wen Inc. and Masonite Corp. continues, as an opinion granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss. The suit was filed in 2018 alleging Jeld-Wen and Masonite conspired to fix prices. Together, plaintiffs allege that they bought interior molded doors indirectly, through distributors. Now they’re seeking injunctive relief under the Sherman Act, as well as under various state antitrust and consumer protection laws. An opinion was announced following an amended consolidated class action complaint filed by the original plaintiffs, seeking to add additional new plaintiffs to “revive several of the previously dismissed state law claims.” The defendants then filed a motion to dismiss some of the claims in the amended complaint. In the end, the court granted parts and denied parts of the defendants’ motion to dismiss.
SBA Updates Guidance for PPP
In early May, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued updated guidance regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including the day a company has to voluntarily terminate or repay its PPP loan funds. Initially set for May 7, the date was pushed back a week, to May 14.
Unemployment in the U.S. reaches 14.7%
U.S. deaths rise above 80,000, as worldwide cases top 4 million
Yawal Launches U.S. Operations
With the U.S. economy slowly reopening in mid-May and grim predictions for housing hanging over the industry, officials for Polish door and window manufacturer Yawal S.A. announced they would proceed with opening U.S.-based operations. Yawal USA will initially offer windows and sliding door systems, focusing on the residential and light commercial markets. To help
lead those efforts, the company named Ken Cariello as director of business development. According to a company representative, Yawal USA has produced several projects and is now focusing on growing its sales representation.
Windsor Windows and Doors confirms with local news station KCCI that ten of its employees tested positive—a reminder for the industry to remain vigilant, because COVID-19 is far from over.
Meanwhile, worldwide death toll reaches 300,000.
Sources: World Health Organization, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NBC News, CNBC, CNN, New York Times, Johns Hopkins University
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