2013 was another year of change for the U.S. glass industry, with mergers and acquisitions topping the headlines and news of bankruptcies and shuttered businesses seeming to slow. In the face of continued depressed growth in construction, major companies announced price increases, along with strategic investments in personnel, product development and equipment. The year also saw the passing of longtime industry leaders, whose mark on the glass business remains evident.
To close out 2013, we once again bring you the the most-clicked news stories on GlassMagazine.com, in order.
- Dlubak Bankruptcy; Grey Mountain Purchase
The top story of the year was the bankruptcy of Dlubak Corp., the resulting bidding war for its assets, and its eventual purchase by Grey Mountain.
Dlubak Corp. Files Chapter 11; Goes Up for Sale
Potential Bidding War Brewing for Dlubak
Dlubak Auction Set for September 23
Grey Mountain Wins Bidding War for Dlubak
- Viracon Temporarily Closes St. George Plant, Invests $30 Million in Owatonna Facility
Viracon Inc. announced in February that it would temporarily close its St. George, Utah, facility for approximately two years beginning in mid-April 2013. Officials said the temporary closure would better align overall capacity with the demand expected over the next two years. The news of the St. George facility shutdown came on the heels of an announcement from Viracon parent company, Apogee, that it would invest $30 million in Viracon's Owatonna, Minn., facility.
- Suppliers Announce Price Increases
The industry saw two rounds of price increases from glass manufacturers in 2013, one in April and a more recent increase in November. Some fabricators also announced increases.
Glass Price Increases Set to Go Into Effect This April
Guardian Announces Price Increase
AGC Announces Price Increase
Pilkington Announces Price Increases
Oldcastle Announces Price Increase
- Trulite announces new CEO
Trulite Glass & Aluminum Solutions announced the appointment of a new CEO, Paul Schmitz. Schmitz replaced Jeff Leone, who served as CEO for the previous two and a half years and was responsible for the successful integration of three companies: Arch, UGC and Vitro.
- Jury Indicts Five Individuals for Conspiracy to Smuggle Chinese Aluminum into the U.S.
A Federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against five individuals and three companies for conspiracy to smuggle Chinese aluminum into the United States and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
- Apogee Acquires Alumicor Ltd.
Apogee Enterprises, Inc. acquired Alumicor Ltd., the Toronto-based fabricator of aluminum frames for window, storefront, entrance and curtain-wall products for the Canadian commercial construction market. The transaction was valued at approximately $52 million.
- MiTek Acquires Benson Industries
MiTek Industries, a Berkshire Hathaway company and supplier of advanced engineered structural connector systems, equipment, software and services for the building components industry, acquired Benson Industries LLC. Benson provides the design, pre-fabrication and installation of custom unitized curtain-wall systems for high-end commercial, hotel, residential, governmental and institutional buildings worldwide.
- Trulite completes acquisition of Western States Glass
Officials from Trulite Glass & Aluminum Solutions LLC announced earlier in the year that they had finalized the acquisition of Western States Glass Corp. Western States Glass has a long history of operations in northern California, with production facilities in Fremont, Fresno and Sacramento. As a result of this acquisition, Trulite and Western States now serve all of California.
- Workers in Connecticut, California Die in Glass Accidents
Tragic glass accidents took the lives of two workers this year—one in an incident in Connecticut at Insulpane, and another in California at Thermalsun.
- Longtime Industry Leader Greg Carney Passes Away
C. Gregory Carney, a longtime technical leader in the glass industry, passed away Nov. 13 in Gulfport, Miss. Carney began his career in the architectural glass industry in 1981, and was involved in glass design, specification, fabrication, installation and field inspection for construction projects around the world.
For a compilation of the biggest stories in 2013, based on editor analysis and reader interest on GlassMagazine.com, see the upcoming January/February 2014 issue of Glass Magazine.
Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Write her at email@example.com.