Oldcastle Buys Vistawall in $190 Million Sale

By Tami Faram

BlueScope Steel Ltd., is today announcing its sale of The Vistawall Group to Oldcastle GlassŪ Inc., an architectural and commercial glazing company. The $190 million sale will close on June 29, according to BlueScope Steel.

USGNN reported on May 17 that the Vistawall sale to Oldcastle seemed imminent.

Tom Harris, president of Vistawall, says he cannot comment on today's sale. Oldcastle Glass president Ted Hathaway did not return our calls.

Lance Hockridge, president of BlueScope Steel's North American divisions says BlueScope is pleased with Vistwall's performance but that "this was a portfolio decision, it's about our options," he says. "This is a good move for Vistawall," Hockridge adds. "We believe Oldcastle can take Vistawall to the next level."

BlueScope bought Vistawall, its North American aluminum architectural products company, headquartered in Terrell, Texas, in April of 2004 when it acquired Butler Manufacturing Company for $206 million. The acquisition included Butler's divisions in North America and China and Vistawall's businesses also in North America and China. According to today's BlueScope announcement, it will continue to own and operate the Butler businesses along with Vistawall's China companies.

Competitors today say they are looking forward to the change.

"I don't think it [the Vistawall sale] has a major impact on the industry, but only Oldcastle knows how they plan to work their strategic initiatives and how they plan to blend all of their companies, says Doug Ellerbrock, vice president of U.S. Aluminum.

"The big get bigger and your supplier becomes your competitor, adds Bob Price, director of sales at J.E. Berkowitz. "A lot of people are going to be out with these acquisitions, it becomes difficult for small companies to compete."

"We welcome Oldcastle to the nationwide architectural aluminum market, with Arch being a company that has provided both glass and aluminum for almost 30 years," says Leon Silverstein, president of Arch Aluminum & Glass. "We're flattered that they are following our lead."

Tami Faram is the assistant editor of USGNN.com™/USGlass Magazine.

CLICK HERE to read previous USGNN coverage of this business deal.

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