There’s no question that the deal between Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope and C.R. Laurence Co. rocked the glass and glazing industry to the core. In one form or fashion anyone who is involved or associated with the industry has dealt with one or both of the entities involved. So a teaming up surely will grab people’s attention. On the morning of the announcement, I spent a ton of time being in contact with many in the industry as we all tried to compute what happened. First of all, no one saw this coming. I can tell you, I hear some of the most outlandish, crazy rumors all the time. If you can dream the “so and so is selling to so and so” rumor, I have heard it. And yet, never in any form did this one come up. That’s how far out it seemed to be.
I have been adamant and public with my appreciation and respect for the way C.R. Laurence promotes and supports the industry at large. They are tremendous in that aspect, and my initial fear was that would go away. However, I was relieved when I saw comments from CRL President Lloyd Talbert noting that the CRL approach to the industry will continue. That is good news. Obviously from a “deal” standpoint, many are expecting major maneuvers and restructuring, but if anything like that is to happen, I believe it’s a long way off. This deal was too big and too valuable to try and do anything but let it run the way it has. I may be wrong there, but that’s the way I see it out of the gate.
In any case, GlassBuild America now just got even more interesting, as the CRL booth was ALWAYS packed, and now I expect it to be even more of an action center with people from all walks of life coming in to catch up, congratulate, and get a feel for the climate. Congrats to Don Friese and his family, along with Lloyd and the rest of the CRL team on an incredible, historic run and mind-blowing deal.
- Last week had some moments of volatility thanks to the markets, and some folks were questioning the health of our economy going forward. Once again I am not one of them, and I offer a few pieces of evidence. One is the above deal and comments made surrounding it. One of the quotes I saw from Oldcastle BE’s parent was that they felt this was a solid deal because the U.S. construction economy is at the start of a positive cycle. Year 2 of a 10 year-riser. That’s something to respect when deals of this magnitude take place. They probably get their confidence from headlines and data like “Housing Demand Expected to Surge over Next 10 Years” and “Construction Spending Rising at Fastest Rate since 2004-05.” Add to it the run of construction starts, which is epic right now, and those starts do not typically affect our industry on the nonresidential side for 16-28 months. Obviously things can change and change quickly, but the foundation is there and it is solid.
- So going to something lighter: a major pet peeve of mine and I wonder if I am alone. Opening a website and immediately a pop ad attacks my screen. These are the 10-second ads, that come mid-screen and you are stuck with them. No clicking off and no relief until the whole thing goes. And it’s a growing trend in the online ad world. I know I am old and crotchety at this point, but man I can’t stand those things.
- By the way, a quick note on GlassBuild America. I am hearing amazing things about the keynote breakfast by Cam Marston. His talk on “Attracting and Retaining a New Generation of Employees” should be something every single business owner, big and small, should attend. Plus, I checked out some old speeches of his on YouTube and the guy is dynamic and interesting. Excited to see him and so should all of you.
- Last this week, College Football gets going big time Thursday and beyond. Ever since Roger Goodell started to systematically ruin the NFL, I have become a bigger fan of the college game. And I think my nephew Josh and his alma mater The Ohio State University is primed for a repeat run to the title. My darkhorse to win it all? Arizona State. Apologies in advance to both fan bases for my jinx on them.
Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.