Sunday, May 07, 2017

Deal and AIA Recaps

Only 2 subjects this week… the proposed EFCO acquisition and AIA recap…

For the last few months I have been hinting towards a “big deal” in our industry and at the start of the week, one of the deals I have been tracking- the sale of EFCO- appears to have finally came together.  Way back in 2007, this blog broke the EFCO-Pella deal and I’ve always paid close attention to what was happening at that company.  When I heard more than a year ago that Pella was selling EFCO I was not surprised, the fit never seemed to take the way people envisioned.  As this latest deal started to come together the info and mis-information was flying at record speed.  I knew several months ago who the players were and all had good reason to try and acquire EFCO and add them to their operations.  In the end Apogee, which has been aggressive on the buying front won out and adds another interesting piece to a very well put together puzzle.  An already strong company got stronger.  Out of the gate I don’t see much changing- especially as the market is very busy right now- but I have to assume as things settle down the product lines that repeat within the overall Apogee world will get a long look to reach more efficiency.  And I think this will force other competitors to raise their games meaning the acquisitions are not over…

Another angle her is if you follow Apogee’s stock, you know it’s been a little bit of a roller coaster ride as of late.  Things carrying along very nicely for a while and then a very rough day on April 13th when the stock dropped from $58 to $50.  Evidently some investors expected a better outlook for next year.  Slowly but surely in the last month the stock has been climbing back but there’s no question that the analysts and markets are paying attention and a deal like this can only help in that process.  For many in our industry this is a process (a publicly traded company) that many have no concept of because it’s not a common setup in our world.  So every move made here is watched a lot more than the typical private company.
 
I have to note that unlike 2007 when I was younger, immature, and considered myself bulletproof- I simply don’t break news like a pending acquisition on here anymore.  But because of my connection to the past deal and knowing what I knew, people inside of the deal started to contact me to tell me wrong info to throw me off the trail.  I took it as an honor that a transaction worth a couple hundred million had people worried about an industry consultant with a blog.  Pretty cool right?  Obviously I was saddened that people I would respect would go out of their way to outright lie to me for the purpose of throwing me off, but hey it is what it is.  They had to do what they thought was best.

In the end a major acquisition is basically done and there are more in the pipeline that can rival this one.  Plus get ready for some new greenfields that are in the works too.  Bottom line- there is a lot of action in the market right now. 

As for AIA…

So the feedback came in waves last week and the majority of the responses were the same… the architects are simply not walking the floor or visiting the exhibits.  And that is not new.  This has been the case for years.  Yet exhibitors are always there and one reason is because AIA has a great way of always having a “carrot” of a great location for the future.  In previous years people looked past terrible shows because Washington DC, or Philly were coming up.  And this year is no different with New York being the 2018 site.  It is a shame that so much money and so many resources get wasted this way but for many that dream of hitting it big with an architect on the show floor overshadows all else.   Don’t get me wrong I love trade events- love shows.  And AIA serves a purpose for networking and growth- just not for reaching architects (that exhibit portion of that show will never show up on a list of “what an architect wants.”)   I can only imagine taking a show budget and using it on direct appeal approaches instead of 3 days of waiting around…

Overall the attitude of the vendors on the floor and the rare decision makers that visited were that the positive trends we keep reporting are real.  I love to hear that… As we know everything can change quickly, especially in a world filled with turmoil, but so far so good. 

Last- if you feel different about the AIA show- I’d love to hear about it.  I enjoy the opinions of others and always want to learn!

Next week I’m back with the normal format blog, including a show in Canada that is worth the effort to visit, a technical meeting that blew me away, and much more!

LINKS of the WEEK

If you are in college be careful what you are searching for during class…. The teachers are watching!

Not sure why this guy was arrested but I have had the same idea of hiring people to attend events…. A wedding though is surely interesting.

Is this new utensil from McDonald’s real?

VIDEO of the WEEK

I have really gotten into these “honest movie trailers” where some insanely creative people with a TON of time to blow re-create trailers into a different reality.  This one on Beauty in the Beast is great.


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