What Trends Will Emerge in the 2014 Top 100?

John G. Swanson
October 29, 2013
THE TALK... | Channels, Markets & Trends

At Window & Door, we will soon begin working on the 2014 Top 100 Manufacturers, our annual rankings of North America’s largest producers of residential windows, doors, skylights and sunrooms. We will reach out shortly to companies on last year’s list to gather updated information. We will also contact companies we believe are potential candidates for the rankings.

But if you think your company is a Top 100 candidate, don’t wait to hear from us. Go to the nominations page of our website and download a Top 100 submission form. In order to make the Top 100 as accurate as possible, and to truly recognize our industry’s leaders, we need to hear from you.

One trend that’s likely to emerge in our 2014 Top 100 coverage is the return of the IPO within the industry. Buoyed by the recovery in both the housing and remodeling markets, Associated Materials, Masonite and Ply Gem have each filed papers to eventually go public. Better times also seem to encourage acquisitions. While we haven’t seen a huge number of window and door manufacturer acquisitions this year, there are signs we might see an uptick. Earlier this month, Andersen added Weiland Sliding Doors to its portfolio. Fortune Brands Home & Security, parent of Simonton Windows & Therma-Tru Doors, recently added a VP of mergers and acquisitions.

Do you see M&A activity on the rise? That’s our poll question of the week.  And of course, we’d like to hear from you too. Do you foresee any trends emerging from our 2014 Top 100? As demand grows, could we see some new or re-opened plants? Will more private equity groups emerge as buyers?  Post a comment and share your thoughts.
 

Survey Results for 10/30/2013 :

In 2014, M&A activity within the window and door industry will:

Accelerate

  

 

51.25%

 

Stay about the same

  

 

40.00%

 

Slow down

  

 

8.75%

 

Most respondents foresee M&A activity accelerating with improving markets, and very few see it slowing down.  We didn't get much comment on the matter, so I thought I would speculate a little.

I agree that mergers and acquisitions will be on the rise.  The question is who will be buying who.  Most deals I suspect will come in the arena of firms buying firms to fill out product lines. It could be a vinyl producer adding a wood line or a fiberglass door maker adding a bifold specialist.

We could also see companies looking to reach a new geographic market. A Northeast manufacturer might want to strengthen its position in the Southeast. We might even see some vertical deals. I can see dealers large enough deciding to bring manufacturing in-house. I can also see manufacturers looking to buy some of their dealer/distribution base to get better control of the whole process.

I didn't mention the possibility of suppliers buying suppliers. There are numerous possibilities there as well. Looking ahead, 2014 promises to be a better―and very interesting―year for the window and door industry.