Koch Industries Taking Minority Stake in Guardian

October 5, 2012

Guardian Industries has reached an agreement in principle for KGIC LLC, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, to purchase a minority stake in the glassmaker, according to an October 3 letter from the Guardian board of directors to employees. Terms of the transaction were not released.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., the privately held Guardian group of companies employs 18,000 people worldwide. In addition to glass manufacturing operations throughout the world, the company operates Guardian Building Products, a residential building products distribution company with locations throughout North America.

The Guardian board has been seeking strategic partners for the company that “would be a cultural fit with Guardian and respect the Guardian Way, operate large industrial businesses, and would be willing to hold a minority stake with influence rather than outright control,” according to the letter to employees. “Koch matches this profile extremely well.”

“This announcement to employees came after a comprehensive and deliberate process by the company’s board of directors to create a long-term ownership strategy that aligns the needs of all our stakeholders,” according to a same-day release from Guardian officials.

Based in Wichita, Kan., Koch is a privately held international company, with about 60,000 employees, and a presence in about 60 countries.  It is currently active in the building product industry through its ownership of Georgia-Pacific Corp.  Koch's other major industries, according to its website, include refining, chemicals and biofuels; process and pollution control equipment and technologies; minerals; fertilizers; polymers and fibers; commodity trading and services; forest and consumer products; and ranching. 

The Guardian board stated in the letter that Koch’s business outlook aligns with Guardian’s. “Like us, Koch takes a long-term, growth-oriented view toward business. We have strikingly similar views on business management and the importance of people in a company’s success,” according to the letter. “Koch also encourages entrepreneurship by employees.”

Guardian officials expect the transaction to be completed by the end of the year, “pending satisfaction of various closing conditions, including regulatory approvals in a number of countries,” according to the letter.