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December 22, 2015
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The Year in Review: Top News from 2015
2015 was a strong year for the U.S. construction sector and glass industry, and top headlines for the year included several announcements of major expansions and capital investments to help companies meet rising demand. The industry also witnessed notable consolidation during the year, with several major mergers and acquisitions.

To close out 2015, Glass Magazine once again presents a compilation of the most-clicked news stories of the year.

1. Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope Acquires C.R. Laurence Co.

Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, a CRH Group company, announced the acquisition of C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. in late August. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, CRL will continue to be independently managed and operated as a subsidiary of OBE and will retain all existing management structures and personnel. The company has eight manufacturing/engineering centers and 28 service centers across the U.S. and Canada, and an additional six operations in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, and Australia.

2. AGC Sells U.S. Commercial Fabrication Division to Trulite

AGC Glass Company North America, us.agc.com, a leading manufacturer of glass and glass-related products, announced Dec. 30, 2014, the sale of the assets of its U.S. Commercial Fabrication business unit to Trulite Glass Solutions LLC, trulite.com. AGC holds a leading position in primary products, and will continue to focus on the core strength of the business in manufacturing glass and innovating new coating technologies. Trulite later closed its Hebron, Ohio, plant, one of 10 locations Trulite purchased from AGC Glass Company North America.

3. Dow and DuPont Enter into $130 Billion Merger Deal

Officials from Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont announced Dec. 11 that the companies have agreed to a $130 billion merger. The deal between the two largest and oldest U.S. chemical producers, will face intense regulatory scrutiny.

4. Sika Resists Saint-Gobain Acquisition

In late 2014, officials from Saint-Gobain announced the company had acquired a controlling stake in Sitka for $2.8 billion. The deal was completed without the knowledge of the Sika board and management, and has prompted a now year’s long battle, with Sika filing appeals  and lawsuits in an attempt to block the deal. Their attempts have thus far been unsuccessful, and earlier this month Saint-Gobain received antitrust approval for the deal. 
 
5. Binswanger Glass Acquires GlassWorks and Signature Glass

In late January, Binswanger Glass announced the acquisition of GlassWorks LLC, located in Glenview, Illinois, and serving the Chicagoland market. GlassWorks installs custom shower enclosures, mirrors, table tops, and architectural glass and glazing. In September, the company went on to acquire the assets of Signature Glass Inc., a contract glazing business in Houston. Signature Glass will continue to operate under the Signature Glass name, as a division of Binswanger Glass.

Officials from Viracon Inc. announced that the company is expanding its flagship manufacturing facility in Owatonna, Minnesota. The expansion will add over 360,000 square feet to the existing site footprint of 1.2 million square feet. The facility addition will house the latest glass manufacturing technology and fabrication equipment to increase Viracon’s maximum finished product size capability.

7. Tecnoglass Begins Soft Coat Operations in Colombia

Tecnoglass Inc. announced that the Company’s new soft coat manufacturing line is now operational at its headquarters in Baranquilla, Colombia. Juan Manual Santos, the president of Colombia, and Cecilia Álvarez-Correa Glen, minister of commerce, industry and tourism, visited Tecnoglass’ manufacturing complex on Thursday, Sept. 10, joining company officials and other honored guests to commemorate this operational milestone.

8. State Window Corp. Announces Launch of New Curtain Wall Company

Officials from Ontario, Canada-based State Window Corp. announced the launch of Integro Building Systems, a significant new entry in the North American curtain wall construction sector, according to a May 5 company release. A company incorporated in Canada, Integro is a partnership among State and a number of notable construction industry leaders. Integro will design, manufacture, and install unitized curtain wall systems operating out of a state-of-the-art, fully-equipped, 70,000- square-foot facility in Boynton Beach, Florida.

9. Heritage Glass Temporarily Suspends Operations

Officials from Tennessee’s Heritage Glass temporarily suspended operations on May 27, according to a company release, as reported by News Channel 11 in Johnson City, Tennessee. Executives say they are exploring a “potential reinvestment and reorganization situation” for the company. Heritage Glass was formed last year when the company purchased the former AGC North America Blue Ridge glass manufacturing facilities in Kingsport in May 2014.

10. Alcoa to Split into Two Standalone Public Companies

Lightweight metals leader Alcoa, alcoa.com, announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously approved a plan to separate into two independent, publicly-traded companies, culminating Alcoa’s successful multi-year transformation. The separation will launch two industry-leading, Fortune 500 companies—an Upstream Company and a Value-Add Company. Alcoa is parent of architectural aluminum products and systems company, Kawneer Co. Kawneer, and the entire Transportation and Construction Solutions business segment, will be part of the Alcoa Value-Add Company. According to an Alcoa spokesperson, “it will be business as usual at Kawneer for the foreseeable future.”

11. Eastman to Close Southwall Insulating Glass

Officials from Eastman Chemical Co., eastman.com, announced its subsidiary Southwall Insulating Glass will exit the insulating glass business in Chicago later this year. The site primarily produces Heat Mirror Insulating Glass, which provides performance beyond triple-pane IG, but with the same weight as dual-pane IG, according to officials. Company officials said the business is expected to close “in the September timeframe.”

12. Investment Firm Acquires GED Integrated Solutions

Altus Capital Partners, an investment firm focused on middle market manufacturing companies in the United States, acquired GED Integrated Solutions Inc. The acquisition will support GED’s continued growth, according to a company release. The financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.
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