Investment Firm Acquires Custom Window Systems

December 12, 2012

Highlander Partners L.P., a Dallas-based private investment firm, has acquired Florida-based Custom Window Systems. Founded in 1986, CWS manufactures impact-resistant and non-impact windows and doors, as well as porch enclosure products. The company primarily serves the replacement and remodeling markets in Florida and other coastal markets in the Southeastern United States.

Under the new ownership, Greg Schorr, a senior advisor for Highlander and former president and COO of Simonton Windows' parent company, will join CWS as president and CEO. Jeff L. Hull, Highlander's managing partner, and former chairman, president, and CEO of Atrium Cos. Inc., will serve as the new chairman of CWS. John Cwik, the founder, president and CEO of CWS, will continue to work with CWS in a consulting and advisory role.

"We are very excited about the opportunity to draw on our collective backgrounds in the window and door industry, and leverage our expertise in working with CWS," Hull says. "John and his team did a great job of managing the business through the downturn, and John's forward-looking decision to refocus his operations from aluminum to vinyl windows and doors in 2006 positions the company to capitalize on a long-term market transition to vinyl, which has been driven by energy code changes."

"I think this is the perfect time to reenter the window and door industry and I am glad to do it in partnership with Highlander," Schorr says. "We see a huge opportunity to capitalize on a rebounding housing market with one of the nation's leading independent designers and manufacturers of windows and doors."

"We see a rebounding housing market and believe additional acquisition opportunities exist that could further a national window company strategy," Hull adds.

CWS, which says it provides the most complete line of impact-resistant vinyl products in the Southeast, will continue to operate under its existing name and operating structure. The manufacturer is based in a 250,000-square-foot facility in Ocala, Fla., where it currently employs approximately 290 people.