Materials CEO Confirms Plans to Purchase Republic
Kevin Surace, president of Serious Materials, based in Sunnyvale,
Calif., told USGNN.com that the company plans to purchase
Republic Windows and Doors.
"We are awaiting approval by the bankruptcy judge and the
trustees," says Surace.
Serious, which serves the commercial market and the retrofit segment
of the residential segment and focuses on high R-value energy-efficient
products, says the purchase of Republic will help with capacity
"We are sold out-we are completely at capacity. Every month
is a record month for us," says Surace.
He points out that Republic served the retrofit residential market
and that its line will work well with the Serious line products,
and "we can modify what we need to."
Surace says the plan is to bring back Republic's workers over time;
he notes that they can't all be brought back on day one, but he
does plan to do so as business increases at the Chicago plant.
"We are all hopeful about the possibility of Serious reopening
our plant. This would be a very happy ending to our struggle,"
said former Republic worker and United Electrical (UE) Workers Local
1110 vice president Melvin Maclin.
According to a statement from UE, Serious has said that it hopes,
after a ramp-up period, to eventually hire the entire former Republic
workforce. For that to happen, however, the bankruptcy court must
act quickly. The union fears that if the court delays, the business
will evaporate and it will be difficult to re-hire anyone.
"We hope that the creditors, trustee and judge will allow
Serious to purchase the assets soon, so I and my co-workers can
start making windows again," said Armando Robles, former Republic
maintenance worker and president of Local 1110.
When asked about Republic customers who moved their business to
Echo Windows, and whether they will come back to the company, Surace
says, "I'm sure some dealers will stick with the new company
and some will come back. But our focus will be to get people into
high R-value products."
Surace also commented briefly when asked about the reports that
Richard Gillman, former owner of Republic, took equipment from the
Republic plant to his new window company, Echo Windows in Red Oak,
"When you have a bank involved, you can't take things out
of there, so that will all have to be figured out. When you walk
through the plant you can see lines that are missing," says
Surace. "But that's between the former owners and the banks
who gave them credit. It really doesn't involve us directly."
Need more info and analysis about the issues?
HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.