Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What an end to 07!

Wow… I thought the last 2 weeks of the year were supposed to be the slow, boring time for news… well obviously not… at least not in 2007 speak… the obvious big news was that Apogee purchased Tubelite. It caught me off guard… I guess this was a case of being a victim of my own success. When OC bought Vistawall and EFCO went to Pella, I was getting tips and leads like crazy… well this one I got nothing… amazing. I knew Tubelite was for sale… as mentioned here before, every major aluminum manufacturer with the exception of Arch has been for sale or sold in the last 2 years. But even with that out there, it still caught me off guard.

My analysis: This is the type of consolidation you will see more of… now Apogee has joined OC in following the Arch model of having both metal and glass together. And because of that, more is coming, but in reverse… I think you will now see metal folks buying glass fabricators… and some of those rumors are already out there… and hopefully I’ll be on them better than I was on this one. The big piece will be how the whole synergy will work between Harmon/Tubelite/Viracon… it looks easy on paper but sometimes in reality it is tougher…Regardless it continues to show the changing face of an industry and this is really only the beginning….


-- Not sure if you saw the Motley Fool write up on Apogee on a USGNN last week. It’s right HERE. An interesting read because of the fact our industry was in the spotlight of a major main line site. Sure its not good pub, but it was still publicity and we don’t really get much at all industry wise and it was interesting to read a true outside take.

-- How depressing is the housing news? The housing slump is its worst in 12 years and today Standard and Poor’s predicted that the residential bottom probably won’t hit til October 08. Yikes… this is going to be a very ugly year on that side of the ball. Meanwhile commercially, I think everyone is confident and hopeful, but it is still a very scary slope we are on…

-- Speaking of scary… Oil hit $100 a barrel today. Insane.

-- Another item that may have flown under the radar was the info on PPG’s Auto Glass deal going off the tracks. That news, in case you missed it, is HERE. If that deal falls through its back to square one for PPG on the auto side and if they were entertaining thoughts of selling the flat side, it probably would not even commence until the auto gets gone.

-- The NFRC quietly announced their new board structure in December… Marcia Falke, who in this space takes a ton of heat because of being the Chair is still on the board but no longer chair. Instead, in what is a cunning PR move, (and surely unintentional, since “cunning” and “NFRC” do not go together when we talk PR) two actual manufacturers take the top 2 spots. Joe Hayden from Pella and Steve Strawn from Jeld Wen are now atop the board… and while both are good people who have spent tons of time on the NFRC beat, the reason its cunning PR, is now NFRC can try to deflect its obvious self interest bent by moving a person who made 72% of her income from NFRC down and putting guys up from companies who do other things to make money for their company... instead of creating systems within NFRC to do so. Remember, these people take an oath to put the interests of NFRC ahead of their own… but when those interests are the same and a good NFRC moves equal money in the pocket of board members companies, then does that matter? Sadly its all window dressing… this group will still go full speed ahead with the Titanic CMA and not care about the massive iceberg they will hit…

-- I did mention that Randy Johnson passed away during a post during the holidays. Its still a tough one to grab onto.. Randy was truly a character and very well liked player in the markets he sold into. A memorial service for Randy is scheduled for next week and I believe the fine folks at USGlass will have more on this as it comes close. Until then condolences must go to Randy’s wife Joyce and his family.

-- Last, yet another reminder about BEC… spots are filling but there is availability, so make your plans now. This year really is the best program yet- please check it out at If you are a glazier, fabricator or manufacturer, you are truly missing out if you do not attend…

-- I got some great pictures of folks in Communist China applying their trade... here is the first one... gotta love the welders mask... yep no OSHA in sight there... then again they do not respect human rights... so worrying about proper safety equipment? nahhhhh.

Yep... I can only imagine what they are wearing inside the glass plants....

*** LATE ADD***

A simply hilarious story about China and the Olympics from the sportsblog Deadspin... CLICK HERE its worth the read!

No comments: