International Window Parent Files for Bankruptcy

May 11, 2011

International Architectural Group LLC, Monterey Park, Calif., has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The company, formerly International Aluminum Corp., is parent of International Window Corp., the West Coast manufacturer of residential windows.

International Architectural is also parent of United States Aluminum, which supplies commercial fenestration products; International Extrusion, an aluminum extruding company; and Raco Interior Products, all based in Waxahachie, Texas.

The case was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court's Central California District on May 11.  According to an article in Glass Magazine, many employees heard the news that day, with some learning the night before.

Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all assets will be liquidated with proceeds to go to creditors. According to court papers, a meeting for creditors is scheduled for June 20.

In January 2007, the private equity group Genstar Capital LLC, San Francisco, purchased International Aluminum in a transaction valued at $228 million. "If you pay top dollar for a company, borrow money to finance the buy, and then the economy goes south, you're going to be in trouble. That's what happened at Genstar," according to J.D. Williams, a former executive vice president of U.S. Aluminum, who spoke to Glass Magazine.

In January 2010, International Aluminum filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and emerged in May 2010 under the name International Architectural Group LLC. "What transpired from there was a continuing bad economy, and trying to run a business and service debt at the same time," Williams said.

"I've been predicting that they weren't going to make it for two years," he continued. "They just had too much debt. With the market as tight as it is, it is very hard to be competitive, particularly if you have debt interest."

A 2011 Window & Door Top 100 Manufacturer, International Architectural reported 2010 window and door sales volumes of between $200 million and $300 million. The International Window Corp. unit produced aluminum and vinyl windows and doors, operating plants in Hayward and South Gate, Calif., and Phoenix, Ariz.