Are You in the Market? Or On the Market?

John G. Swanson
February 1, 2011
THE TALK...

Monday's announcement that Quanex was acquiring Edgetech was a bit of a surprise on its own, but it also comes on the heels of four other industry acquisitions announced during the first month of 2011.  For those of you not keeping track, Hurd has also acquired Superseal, a local investor group bought Fen-Tech, a French company acquired Lapco in Quebec and a private equity firm acquired Patio Enclosures Inc.

Each deal had its own circumstances and logic, I'm sure, but it's enough to make you wonder if we're seeing the beginning of a trend.  That's our poll question of the week, and, as usual, I'd like to hear from you, too.  Are these acquisitions a sign of an improving economy?  An improving industry outlook?  Or is all this a coincidence? 

And what about the rest of 2011? Do you foresee more deals?  Will more companies look to buy competitors? Will more look to buy companies that can help them expand into new territories or add new product lines? Will private equity groups take a greater interest in our industry? Share your thoughts below or email me and let me know what you expect will be happening on the M&A front in the coming year.

Survey Results as 02/07/2011:

 

Do you foresee more M&A activity in the window and door industry in 2011?

 

Yes, but it won't be a big increase.

  

 

52%

 

Yes, it will increase significantly compared to last year.

  

 

38%

 

No

  

 

10%

 

Actions speak louder than words.  We didn't get a lot of feedback to our survey this week, but we did see another deal.  Cascade Windows has added Empire Pacific to its fold.

Most respondents expect we'll see more.  I agree, and even before the latest deal was announced, I was thinking we'd see a significant increase in mergers and acquisitions this year.  The Quanex/Edgetech and Cascade/Empire Pacific deals make clear that strategic buyers–companies already in the industry looking to expand–see the time is right.  The combination of improved opportunities in the market and more available financing, I suspect, will make our industry more attractive to outside investors also.

 

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