What’s News July/August 2022

July 28th, 2022 by Nathan Hobbs

M&A

Trimlite Acquires Builders Hardware

Trimlite Mfg Inc., a North American manufacturer and distributor of residential doors and related door products, announced it acquired Builders Hardware Inc., a Tampa, Fla.-based distributor of exterior door products and hardware.

Officials for Trimlite said BHI has “a strong presence across Florida,”  providing high quality products and value-added services to its network of customers.

“I’d like to thank the Godwin family for their decades-long stewardship of this high-quality company,” said Patrick Hooper, CEO of Trimlite. “Les, Joel, and Jesse have built a wonderful distribution company and their values complement ours. We look forward to supporting BHI in their next phase of growth.”

The last acquisition by Trimlite includes CODEL Entry Systems in 2017. Wynnchurch Capital L.P. acquired Trimlite in July, 2021.

Metrie Closes Acquisition of EL & EL Wood Products

Metrie, a North American manufacturer and distributor of millwork solutions, completed two acquisitions in recent weeks, including that of EL & EL Wood Products Corp. and Tinder Wholesale LLC, a two-step distributor of interior and exterior millwork in the U.S. East.

Tinder Wholesale is a two-step distributor of interior and exterior millwork in the Eastern U.S. EL & EL is a two-step distributor of moulding, millwork, and door products across the Southwestern region.

The Southwest business will carry both the Metrie and EL & EL names for the foreseeable future, said Kent Bowie, president and CEO of Metrie. The Metrie EL & EL business will continue to be managed by Lincoln Orellana, the regional director of California, who has been part of the company’s leadership for nine years.

Metrie began in 1926 as a small, family-owned and operated business in Vancouver, B.C. The company has since expanded operations to include six solid-wood and MDF manufacturing facilities, plus 26 distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada.

Centra Windows Acquires Supreme Windows Calgary

Centra Windows acquired Supreme Windows (Calgary), in Alberta. Officials for the Langley, British Colombia-based company said the move marks its first major business purchase.

According to a Centra blog post announcing the transaction, the purchase allows the company to move into the Alberta marketplace “with the expertise to make the perfect windows for the province.” Production for windows will continue in Alberta and Centra says the acquisition won’t affect the orders of current Supreme customers.

“We want to do right by our employees. We put a lot of thought into it, and we thought Centra was a very good fit because all the tools are there for them to move the company forward and help the current staff,” said Dennis Huber, Supreme Windows owner. “We feel comfortable that Centra is a very positive choice.”

Officials said Supreme employees will receive the same benefits that all Centra employees have, including the opportunity for employee ownership, which currently registers at 85%. Supreme Windows was family owned and operated for 55 years.

Beacon Acquires Wichita Falls Builders Wholesale

Beacon, a distributor of roofing materials and complementary building products, recently acquired Wichita Falls’ Builders Wholesale Inc., a distributor of complementary residential exterior building supplies. Builders Wholesale serves customers in greater Wichita Falls, Texas, where it’s operated for three decades.

“We are pleased to welcome Builders Wholesale employees and customers to Beacon,” said Jason Taylor, Beacon’s president, Western division. “We will partner to bring their customers the benefits of scale and specialized capabilities that differentiate our service model.” Builders Wholesale’s long history, “high-quality team” and strong location will allow Beacon to serve a new and growing market, he suggested.

Ambassador Supply Acquires Orgain Building Supply

Ambassador Supply acquired Orgain Building Supply. In a press release about the transaction, officials for the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based company said Orgain Building Supply has always served its customers “with quality and responsiveness, and this will not change,” adding that the partnership “will only help Orgain Building Supply continue in its mission and promise
to its customers.”

Located in Clarksville, Tenn., officials for Orgain Building Supply say it maintained its existing 90 employees following the transaction.

Woodgrain Closes on Huttig Building Products

Woodgrain completed its purchase of Huttig Building Products, a domestic distributor of millwork, building materials and wood products. The acquisition significantly increases Woodgrain’s distribution network, its product offerings, and value-added services, officials said, stretching its distribution network to 32 locations. The move expands the company’s national footprint into several key markets along the Northeastern, Midwestern, Southern, and Western regions.

Legal

Court Denies Pella Corp.’s Motion for Summary Judgment

A motion for summary judgment by Pella Corp. was denied by the Northern District of Indiana.

In a civil suit launched in 2018, the plaintiff, Sophia Suleiman, alleges a lack of safety features on the company’s windows failed to prevent children from opening them. It is further alleged that Pella “failed to utilize available technology to provide windows with adequate locks to prevent injuries to persons, and in particular to children, from opening the windows and falling out of the windows,” according to court documents.

The case alleges that in August 2017 a child opened a window at Suleiman’s residence, falling from the second floor level to the ground. The plaintiff alleges negligence, as well as a breach of the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose and a claim of strict liability. On May 10, the plaintiff provided expert testimony to the court and Pella Corp. moved to strike it as untimely. At this time, the court instructed the plaintiff to file a response to the motion for summary judgment filed with the court in early May. That response was filed June 7.

According to court documents, the defendant sought summary judgment because disclosures were not made by the deadline and expert testimony was needed for the plaintiff to prove their case. The court wrote that it found minimal prejudice in the short delay in expert witness disclosure and that any prejudice could be mitigated through discovery, denying Pella’s motion for summary judgment.

DOL Cites Sunbelt Forest Products

A 45-year-old worker at Sunbelt Forest Products died, after being struck by a forklift. A subsequent U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation resulted in a citation levied against the company, which is now facing the possibility of fines upward of $50,000. OSHA says Sunbelt Forest Products did not provide and ensure each employee uses a safe means of access and egress to and from walking-working surfaces. The company could see a second fine for not having permanent aisles or passageways marked and designated as “shipping department travel aisles for trucks, forklifts, and pedestrians …”

Expansions

FlexScreen Opens New Plant

FlexScreen opened a new manufacturing plant in Nashua, N.H. The new location is the company’s seventh facility, with five across the U.S. and one in Canada. At the same time, officials said they implemented an expanded partnership with Harvey Building Products, which has several production facilities located in New England and surrounding areas.

“Harvey Building Products is one of the most respected window manufacturers in the country, and it’s an honor to align FlexScreen with their premium products,” said FlexScreen CEO Joe Altieri. “New England is one of the only areas in the country without a screen vendor, so we’re excited that our new Nashua, N.H., plant will finally be filling that void.”

The new facility began shipping orders June 1.

MI Announces New Parent Brand

MI Windows and Doors has announced a new parent brand for its business: MITER Brands.

The nationwide company will retain its MI Windows and Doors brand in the East and Milgard Windows and Doors in the West. Sunrise Windows & Doors products will be available under the MI Windows and Doors brand in the eastern U.S.

Refreshed MI and Milgard product branding will be introduced throughout the latter half of 2022, officials said.

“Through strong organic growth and the recent acquisitions of Milgard and Sunrise, our team has built a strong family of leading window and door brands,” said Matt DeSoto, MITER Brands CEO. “The name MITER Brands reflects our culture, values, and growth strategy and encapsulates our people-first approach centered around our team’s priority to drive value for our customers.”

PGT Innovations Acquires New Space

PGT Innovations recently expanded. The move is designed to accommodate the growth of its Western Window Systems brand, officials said. A new 78,843-square-foot space resides within the current Western Window Systems facility in Phoenix, adjacent to its existing manufacturing area, adding 68,043 square feet of manufacturing operations and 10,800 square feet of office space.

“We are immensely proud of the 30% year-over-year growth our Western Window Systems brand has experienced over the past two years,” said Jeff Jackson, president and CEO of PGT Innovations.

The newly acquired space allowed the company to add approximately 30 new team members, he said. Production began in July.

Viwinco Nearing Completion of New Glass Facility

New automated technology and increased production capabilities are on the way for Viwinco Windows in Morgantown, Pa., via a new 70,000-square-foot glass processing facility. Michael Duncan, Jr., general manager, says the goal is to have a fully-operational facility by the start of the third quarter of this year. The investment was launched a few years ago, to address a bottleneck in production, Duncan adds, “We’re looking at much more impressive technology, state-of-the-art equipment, and automation to move us forward.”

Aside from a capacity increase and improved quality, Duncan says the move will also help to streamline Viwinco’s operations. “Right now, if you look at the flow of the existing glass shop, there are a lot of things going forward and back,” Duncan says. “In the new shop, things are laid out much more streamlined, in individual cells. Right now, we have two cutting tables and in the new facility we have four cutting tables.”

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