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USGNN Original StorySerious Materials CEO Confirms Plans to Purchase Republic

Kevin Surace, president of Serious Materials, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., told™ 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 issues.

"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, Iowa.

"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."

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