What’s News May/June 2021

August 19th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

Leading News

ENERGI Acquired by Vision and Parceled Out

In a series of transactions that closed May 17, door and window company ENERGI Fenestration Solutions was sold by private equity firm OpenGate Capital to Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada-based Vision Group. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. At the same time, two of ENERGI’s plants were parceled out as part of the deal—one acquired by Novatech Group Inc., the other by several ENERGI employees who are resurrecting an old brand. In a mashup of ownership changes—some of which come full circle—the deal transfers ownership of ENERGI to one of its predecessors: industry veteran Vic De Zen, CEO of Vision Group, who founded Royal Group Technologies Ltd. (ENERGI’s predecessor) in 1970.

Novatech, a manufacturer of steel entry doors, door glass, patio doors and residential insulating glass, acquired ENERGI’s patio doors facility in Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada. Employees Michael
McCullough, Jean Marois and Martin Boulanger acquired ENERGI’s extrusion plant in Laval, Quebec, Canada, in a management buyout, forming Thermoplast Extrusions—a brand that formerly operated under Royal Group Technologies Ltd.

“It was a big transaction,” Boulanger told [DWM], and one that brought some brands and people full circle. “It made sense that a patio door company bought patio doors. It also made sense for me, Jean and Mike, who were already in charge of this plant, to do a management buyout,” he said.

ENERGI, a North American manufacturer of rigid and cellular vinyl window and patio door profiles, was formerly a division of Axiall Corp.’s Royal Building Products portfolio. In 2016, the company was acquired and rebranded by OpenGate, a global private equity firm that specializes in acquiring businesses in order to create new value through operational  improvements and growth.

In a letter to all Vision Group employees, “This is an important and exciting day for both of our organizations and one that will position us for greater growth as well as ensure that we remain a highly competitive global company for years to come,” De Zen said. Integration is expected to be complete “within the coming months” he added, after which the two will proceed as one combined company.

With the transaction, Vision Group officials say there will be “some overlap in corporate and geographic functions,” which is expected to eliminate some of the combined company’s positions. So far as which positions and individuals will be affected, the company expects clarity within 90 days following the acquisition.

Officials for Thermoplast tell [DWM] that with the continuation of operations at ENERGI’s operations in Laval, Thermoplast brand products are currently available throughout Quebec and Maritimes (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island).

“There is no change here in Laval,” Boulanger said. “We’re keeping the same structure, the  same people and producing the same products for the same customers.” The newly formed company expects to retain all employees going forward.

Sales for patio doors are handled by Novatech effective immediately, officials for Novatech said, while the existing customer service team in Terrebonne will remain in place for all inquiries and orders.

M&A

Mad City Acquires New Windows for America

Mad City Windows, a subsidiary of Titan Home Improvement, acquired Minnesota-based home improvements company New Windows for America. New Windows, which was previously owned by Jim and Rhonda Steffes, offers replacement windows, bathrooms and other home improvement products to the Minneapolis market and surrounding areas.

The transaction was completed March 12. Meanwhile, “This is our first acquisition of 2021, and we anticipate more to follow soon, as we continue to scale our business across the country and take advantage of the strong market for home improvement,” said Daniel Gluck, CEO of Titan Home Improvement.

Compusoft to Acquire First Degree Systems

Compusoft Group, a global visual configure price quote (CPQ) provider, announced an agreement to acquire First Degree Systems (FDS), a UK-based provider of software solutions for the door and window industry. The deal combines with Compusoft’s previous acquisition of Soft Tech to further expand its offerings to the door and window industry, officials said.

“We are delighted to be able to continue our expansion into the window and door sector with this acquisition of FDS,” said David Tombre, the company’s CEO. “We look forward to welcoming the FDS team into the window and door division of Compusoft and are excited about the future with them as part of the group.”

Legal

Appeals Court Denies Request for Rehearing

An order filed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denied a request by Jeld-Wen Inc. for a rehearing en banc, after the Court upheld a ruling requiring the door and window manufacturer to divest of its Towanda, Pa.-based manufacturing plant. A petition for rehearing en banc asks a court to reconsider the decision of a panel in cases that include matters of exceptional public importance, or a panel ruling appears to be in conflict with prior decisions. In an opinion fi led in February, a panel of three judges upheld the outcomes of a trial-by-jury process in 2018, finding that Jeld-Wen’s acquisition of Craftmaster International (CMI) in 2012 violated antitrust provisions.

In its petition, filed March 4, 2021, the company’s arguments leaned on unprecedented aspects of the case, including that it was the first in which a court ordered divesture in an antitrust suit brought by a private party. Jeld-Wen officials pointed to the span of years between the company’s acquisition of CMI and the antitrust filing. The request also said the company devoted “substantial resources” to developing two exterior trim and panel lines, which they said are manufactured only at Towanda, in a process that’s integrated with manufacturing of door skins.

“In all events, any possible future injury could be prevented by less drastic injunctive measures,” Jeld-Wen’s request for a rehearing suggested.

The company’s petition was circulated to the full court, after which no judge requested a poll, the court’s filing said.

A representative for Jeld-Wen told [DWM] that the company remains committed to pursuing all avenues of appeal, including a certiorari petition with the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a spinoff pertaining to court rulings over Jeld-Wen’s antitrust violations, U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. issued an order certifying a class of investors to proceed in a suit against the company. Plaintiffs allege that they purchased the company’s stock at an inflated price, because defendants “lied about Jeld-Wen’s anticompetitive conduct and the legal risks that conduct posed to Jeld-Wen.”

Judge Gibney certified the class action suit after which the company reached a nearly $40 million settlement. The class of investors filed a memo June 4, seeking preliminary approval of the deal. According to the filing, Jeld-Wen continues to deny any wrongdoing.

Expansions and Moves

Optimas Solutions Moves to New Headquarters

Optimas Solutions moved its global corporate headquarters from Glenview, Ill., to the company’s manufacturing operations in Wood Dale, Ill. By moving to its existing manufacturing facility, officials say the company will cut costs and improve operational efficiencies, but the move was also partially driven by underutilized space at the Wood Dale plant and a desire to update
company culture, said Marc Strandquist, CEO.

“There are a number of good reasons to make this move in terms of cost savings, greater efficiencies, maximizing space and integrating teams,” said Strandquist. “But just as important is the need to further build a team concept and culture of winning that can only come about by having everyone housed under one roof … You might say we are bringing people and parts together for a lot of good business reasons, but I feel it is more than that. When we set out on our new manufacturing solutions strategy as a company in early 2020 you could see a unique culture forming. Perhaps more than anything, this move is one of culture and character-building grounded in a winning attitude.”

United Expands Manufacturing

Officials for United Window and Door announced their company is expanding one of its manufacturing facilities. An additional 156,000 sq. ft. of space at the company’s operations in Wayne, N.J., will be used to produce two product lines of double hung windows, as well as two patio door lines and a new line of glass. “Equipment is on the way and we will employ about 400 people on two shifts,” says Gregg Proscia, vice president of sales and marketing. The facility is expected to be operational by late June.

MFM Announces Expansion

MFM Building Products, a manufacturer of waterproofing and weather barrier products, is set to add nearly 50,000 square feet to the company’s production area. The project includes new offices and the addition of a research and development laboratory.

The building is expected to be completed by the fall of 2021, and the new production equipment operational by early 2022.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held March 19.

Kudos

[DWM] Nets Azbee Awards

Key Media & Research (KMR), parent company to [DWM] magazine, received six awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE)—four of which went to [DWM] magazine. Presented across a range of publication types, including everything from business-to-business and trade magazines to websites, newspapers and newsletters, ASBPE’s Azbee Awards of Excellence are among the most prestigious and competitive for the field of trade publications.

In the category of All Content – Impact/Investigative, [DWM] editorial director Tara Taffera won a Regional Silver Award for the article “Put Your Guards Up.” Designed by art director and managing editor Dawn Campbell, the article delves into workplace safety and proper machine guarding.

Under the category of Feature Article Design, the article “Going Viral” earned two separate awards—a Regional Bronze and a National Bronze. Designed by Campbell and conceptualized by editor Drew Vass, the article visually parallels industry news and developments alongside the early phases
of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the category of Design – Infographics, art director Saundra Hutchison won a Regional Silver Award for her work on Indices, the magazine’s ongoing department including industry statistics.

“I am so proud that our staff has been recognized and named winners by ASBPE,” said Debra Levy, president.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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