United Glass Corp. Sold
April 12, 2011

Louisville, Ky.-based United Glass Corp. (UGC), which began in 1999 as a consolidation of ten companies, has been sold. A company representative at UGC Pittsburgh said at this time it’s “business as usual” and orders will not be affected. According to industry sources, there were few options other than a sale or bankruptcy.

The buyer is believed, but not confirmed, to be Sun Capital Partners Inc. Sun has not returned calls from USGNN.com™

At press time Larry O’Connell, UGC chairman and chief executive officer, and David E. Bartley, UGC chief operating officer and chief financial officer, were unavailable for comment as well.

At the time of its launch UGC was considered by some to be a significant move at a time when consolidation "roll-ups" were in vogue. Managed by Sterling City Capital out of Houston, the consolidation rolled ten companies under one umbrella. The initial companies were: the GlassWerks Group of companies headquartered in Los Angeles, Perilstein Distributing Corp. of Pittsburgh, PDC Glass of Detroit, Mich., Hartung Glass Industries and Lami Glass Products of Seattle, Thad Ziegler Glass Inc. of San Antonio, TFC Inc. of Louisville, Ky., Tempered Glass Inc. of Atlanta, Louisville Plate Glass of Louisville, Ky., and Mid Ohio Tempering of Columbus, Ohio.

According to UGC’s initial announcement about the formation, “The cash portion of the acquisitions was funded through an $80 million bank credit facility with Bank of America acting as lead administrative agent, Fleet Capital acting as syndication agent and Credit Lyonnais acting as documentation agent. In addition, the financing included a $15 million senior subordinated bridge loan from Fleet Corporate Finance, Inc. Each owner of the acquired companies received a significant portion of their purchase consideration in the form of UGC stock.”

Industry sources tell USGNN.com that in forming UGC the goal was to eventually go public and become part of an organization that would offer every trade service to the construction industry.

However, it was not long after its formation that UGC began to crumble. It began in 2000 when the Thad Ziegler Company bought itself back and exited the roll-up. Randy Steinberg, president of GlassWerks, followed suit in 2002, buying back the Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix operations. The Northern California GlassWerks locations continued under the Hartung name until 2004 when Nick Sciola, president of Hartung Glass Industries Inc., bought back those operations, which included Hartung Agalite Glass Co., Lami Glass of Canada and Northern California Glass Inc.

In 2009 Bill Stone, president of Louisville Plate Glass, bought back his company as well.

Most recently, UGC closed Mid Ohio Tempering. At the time O’Connell commented that the decision to close the branch was made to improve the operating efficiencies of all UGC branches and to allow more capacity out of its larger facilities.

Some of those who were part of the original UGC are hopeful for the organization’s future.

“We built a great organization at UGC,” says Stone. ”Hopefully the new owners will carry on our strategy in the best interests of all concerned.”

Stay tuned to USGNN.com for more news and updates as they are made available.

To offer a comment, contact Ellen Rogers.

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