Talk About Oldcastle-Vistawall Marriage Heats Up

Despite strong denials from both parties, the industry rumor mill is rampant with speculation that Oldcastle Glass, in Santa Monica, CA, is in negotiations to buy The Vistawall Group, in Terrell, Texas. The deal would pair Oldcastle, a top three glass provider, with, Vistawall, a top three metal supplier.

"It's a pretty monumental deal just in pure size," says one industry observer. "They [Oldcastle] have very little impact on the metal side, but this would put them waist deep into the metal side of industry. I think it would definitely improve their position."

BlueScope Steel, Vistawall's Australian-based parent company put the firm on the block earlier this year, according to one person involved in the bidding process. In the past week, that insider said BlueScope told him bidding was closed. During the same timeframe, Oldcastle has telling been telling suppliers that it's on the verge on announcing a major deal.

Right now, both Vistawall and Oldcastle are denying that they're in talks. Susan Trimble, director of Corporate Communications for Oldcastle, said she had no knowledge of the talks and had no comment. A company spokesperson from BlueScope wouldn't comment on "rumor and speculation."

"We currently operate successful businesses throughout North America (North Star BlueScope Steel, Butler Buildings and Vistawall)," the spokesperson said in a prepared statement. "BlueScope Steel is committed to growing our North American business. In the last four years, BlueScope Steel's North American employee base has grown from 40 people to 4,000. It is a market that we are 100 percent committed to."

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