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USGNN Original StoryMGM Industries Acquires Assets from Echo Windows

MGM Industries Inc. in Hendersonville, Tenn., has entered into an agreement with the management of Echo Windows LLC in Red Oak, Iowa, to purchase inventories and equipment necessary to build the Sienna replacement window product line, according to Joe Gaskins, MGM's vice president of sales.

Echo Windows closed its doors abruptly earlier this week (CLICK HERE for related story).

"They [Republic management] sold the Sienna line out of the building in hopes of getting our customer base," Dwayne Adams, plant manager, told USGNN.com™.

He added that equipment is currently being moved out of the facility. "The Sienna line was the primary line so that leaves us with a building and one composite window line so that puts us [Echo] out of business."

However, Gaskins told USGNN.com™ that the company had been working for months with window extruder VEKA to make the DH31 product, which is the same that Echo/TRACO was making. (Richard Gillman, former owner of Republic Windows in Chicago formed Echo Windows in December. Echo purchased the residential business from TRACO. CLICK HERE for related story) But when the company learned that Echo Windows was struggling, MGM made an offer to purchase the Sienna line.

"This was a way to expedite our way to get into that window system," says Gaskins.

When asked if MGM had considered purchasing the Iowa facility, Gaskins says this was not a feasible alternative. "It makes more sense to manufacture and ship everything out of one location for an expenditure point of view," he says.

"The real travesty here is the loss of employment in Iowa," he added.

Gaskins also admits that MGM took into consideration the fact that it was buying the assets from a company that has been shrouded in controversy.

"We've been in business for 42 years and it takes that long to build a solid reputation and only seconds to destroy it," says Gaskins. "The purchase of Echo Windows was an arms-length transaction. That's why it was important for us to buy the assets and not bring that management team into our company."

Adams says, in his opinion, the former Republic customers will move their business to MGM but the customers that existed when the facility was run by TRACO may not.

"I don't think it will work out for them [MGM]," he adds. "I think the original TRACO customers will find new window vendors."

Gaskins says that this is a relationship-driven business. "It's up to us to prove ourselves to these customers," he says. "We need to call customers and clarify what we purchased, etc. There will be confusion for weeks."

MGM Industries will assume the trade name Sienna and has agreed to assume the warranty issues of Echo Windows for these lines, for four years beginning February 27, 2009, and for fours years prior to this date. This excludes Echo's P2 product, which is not included in the purchase.

"We understand the importance of upholding existing warranties and we want to reassure customers that we will honor those warranties and provide them with the best customer service we can provide," says Gaskins.

The equipment will be moved to MGM's 400,000-square-foot Hendersonville, Tenn., plant this week, where production will begin immediately.

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