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December 18, 2012
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2012 In Review: A look at some of the year's top stories
The Trainor Glass closure

The sudden closure of Trainor Glass Co. in early 2012 sent a ripple effect throughout the industry, changing the way many contract glaziers and suppliers do business. The industry kept close tabs on news surrounding the closure, the Chapter 11 suit and the movements of former Trainor executives.

Grey Mountain acquisitions
2012 was a year of acquisitions for Grey Mountain Partners. The private equity firm purchased Binswanger, Global Security Glazing, Custom Components Co., Columbia Commercial Building Products, Hawkins Architectural Products, North American Specialty Glass and Solar Seal this year, all of which are now part of its Consolidated Glass Holdings subsidiary.

AGC's Kingsport plant closure
AGC Glass Company North America announced it would cease production of photovoltaic cover glass in the North American market and indefinitely close its Kingsport, Tenn., manufacturing facility, effective November 7. AGNA cited the sluggish economy, slowed customer demand, and strong imports of solar glass and finished solar modules as the reasons behind the decision.

Guardian and Koch Industries' minority stakeholder agreement
Guardian Industries reached an agreement in principle for KGIC LLC, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, to purchase a minority stake in Guardian. In a letter to employees, execs said Koch met the glass manufacturer's desire for a strategic partner that "would be willing to hold a minority stake with influence rather than outright control."

Additional tariffs on Chinese imports
The U.S. Department of Commerce ruled Nov. 30 that Chinese curtain-wall units are subject to the aluminum extrusion Antidumping and Countervailing Duty orders. In April 2011, the DOC imposed duties on aluminum extrusion products from China after determining Chinese extruders had an unfair competitive advantage due to government subsidies. The DOC also determined this year that Chinese manufacturers were dumping solar panels into the U.S. market at less than fair value, and moved to impose tariffs on those imports as well.

Overcapacity in the global market
In an effort to reduce capacity to match customer demand, NSG halted production of several float lines this year. As part of its restructuring efforts, NSG said it was focusing on  "capacity reduction, overhead reductions and operational improvements," and that it would lay off 3,500 people worldwide by the end of FY2014.

CBO Glass sale
Gamma, a division of the Far East Global Group Ltd., acquired CBO Glass this August, which ranked #15 on Glass Magazine's 2011 Top 50 Glaziers list. The acquisition came after news in April that the International Painters and Allied Trades Industry Pension Fund had filed suit against CBO Glass, claiming the contract glazier owed the fund nearly $475,000.

Contract glazier ASI troubles
In early January, ASI Ltd. confirmed it had suspended operations at its Whitestown, Ind., plant, resulting in the termination of at least 250 jobs, according to local news reports. "Management is currently reviewing its financial viability moving forward," company officials said in a statement. "It is hopeful that we can re-commence operations sometime in the near future."

Primary, fabricator price increases
Citing increased raw material, labor, transportation and utility costs, NSG Group-Pilkington North America, PPG Industries Inc., Guardian Industries Corp., Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope and Viracon implemented price increases this August.

What do you think was the biggest story of 2012?
Write Jenni Chase at jchase@glass.org to share your opinion. 

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PLUS: Recent news
Guardian float plant begins production, Vitro initiates settlement trial, and more
 
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e-glass weekly will return Jan. 8, following the holiday break. Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season from the Glass Magazine staff! 

 
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