Serious Sells Colorado Window Manufacturing Business

September 27, 2012

Alpen HHP LLC, based in Boulder, Colo., has purchased the assets of the Colorado-based fiberglass window and architectural glass operations of Serious Energy Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif. Alpen High Performance Products will continue to manufacture highly energy efficient fiberglass window and architectural glass products used in both residential and commercial applications at the facility, officials report.

Serious Energy will continue to operate its manufacturing operation in Vandergrift, Pa., where it produces high-performance glass and residential vinyl window products. In addition to its vinyl residential replacement line, Serious continues to market its iWindow commercial retrofit product. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company also notes that based on its longstanding relationship with Alpen and shared interest in high-performance suspended films, the two companies are exploring opportunities for future product, distribution and technology collaboration.

“We see this acquisition as an ideal opportunity to continue to build on the strong Alpen brand launched many years ago," says Brad Begin, CEO of the new company and one of the prior owners of Alpen before its sale to Serious. “We approached Serious some time ago about the opportunity to reacquire the Alpen operation, based on continuing interest in the product line and growth opportunities we saw,” Begin says. “It took some time, but we eventually agreed on a transaction that works for both sides.”

The Colorado window and glass operation was founded by Robert Clarke in 1981, and was operated continuously under Alpen brand until its acquisition by Serious Materials, as Serious Energy was then known, in 2008. The company is the nation’s longest continuously-operating fabricator of glass systems that use suspended film technology to enhance performance, it reports. Clarke recently led Serious Energy’s project to replace more than 13,000 glass units in the Empire State Building in New York City and continues with Alpen, leading the commercial window and glass division.

The fiberglass window products manufactured in Colorado, previously sold under the SeriousWindows brand, will now be sold under the Alpen brand.  “Fiberglass framed windows have gained significant market share over the past decade as has the ever increasing demand for higher performing window and glass products,” says Begin.

"Consumers and design professionals are increasingly interested in combining energy efficiency and comfort considerations with design flexibility, so we believe fiberglass will continue to experience growth as one of the preferred framing materials for super-high performance window products,” he continues.

Looking at both residential and commercial markets, Begin sees continued growth in demand for high performance products and “there’s no sign those trends are reversing,” he notes. Designers continue to focus on energy efficiency and sustainability objectives in commercial construction and need high-quality glass products to deliver that. In addition, there’s demand for advanced solar control and comfort factors. He sees those same factors driving demand for Alpen’s fiberglass windows in the high-end residential market.

Serious Energy, which owned the company for four years, is working in tandem with Alpen HHP to ensure a seamless transition back to the Alpen brand. The company’s operations and customer service staff will remain intact, and Begin expects the transition to go very smoothly due to a solid working relationship between Alpen HPP and Serious Energy. Serious was very successful in building its dealer network, he adds, and Alpen HPP will “absolutely” continue to work with existing dealers as it moves forward.

“As we grow our business to include other highly energy efficient products, we feel that Colorado offers a rich pool of talent for innovative green product development," Begin states. "We’re in the right place at the right time. We have an outstanding dealer network and committed experienced team in place. As the economy begins to recover, we are well positioned to help raise the efficiency of new and existing buildings while accelerate our company’s growth.”

“We believe we can provide better customer service and accelerate growth by focusing on our core competencies in energy-efficient windows (Serious Glass suspended film products), and acoustical products (QuietRock sound-damping drywall) for the ‘built’ environment," says Tassilo Baeuerle, Serious Energy CEO. "Given our long history with Alpen, we were happy when they sought to acquire the architectural glass and fiberglass business. Both companies are committed to a smooth transition, and we look forward to continuing our mutually supportive relationship. Serious Energy remains focused on enabling our vinyl window customers to receive the same high performing, energy efficient windows they have come to expect over the years.”

According to Baeuerle, 2012 second quarter results were strong for the window segment.