Are Investors Coming Back to Our Industry?

John G. Swanson
June 1, 2010
THE TALK... | Management

Survey Results as of 06/08/2010:

Are investors looking at window and door industry again?

No, the recovery in our markets is still too far off.

  

 

51%

Yes, they are coming back now.

  

 

35%

Yes, and they have been for awhile.

  

 

14%

We not only have Ply Gem planning an IPO, but the Atis Group in Canada is as well, suggesting there is possibly growing investor interest in our industry.  Industry readers are split pretty evenly this week.  About half of our respondents say it's too early, but the other half either see investors coming back or are reporting they've already come back.

"I'm surprised at the poll results," reports Wayne Gorell, president of Gorell Windows & Doors in Indiana, Pa. "I'm getting at least one, often more, calls a week from investment houses looking to get into our industry. This is back to the 2007 levels, it started to taper off in 2008 to maybe one a month, very few in 2009, probably a half dozen calls all year, but back up now to where it was before the recession. I don't know if it is the same in new construction, but there is definitely interest in the retrofit side of the business."

A financial consultant with a strong knowledge of the window and door industry writes that the short answer to the question of whether investors are coming back is yes and no. "The term 'investor' is about as definitive as the term 'window' – everyone immediately recognizes what you’re talking about but not everyone recognizes that there are dramatically different functions and capabilities of each," he suggests. "Windows are a good opportunity for value investors with the vision and ability to create new value, not much of a play for the old style consolidators."