JELD-WEN ACQUIRING ALCOA'S CARADCO UNIT

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HOUSTON — Aluminum Co. of America said it is selling Caradco, Alcoa's vinyl and wood window fabricator, to Jeld-Wen Inc.

Last year, Pittsburgh-based Alcoa announced it wanted to sell Caradco, based in Rantoul, Ill. Alcoa shifted production of its vinyl window fabrication from Springboro, Ohio, to the expanded Rantoul plant, bringing vinyl and wood window fabrication together in that city.

Both Jeld-Wen and Caradco had booths at the Builders' Show in Houston. Jeld-Wen officials declined to comment.

But a Caradco spokeswoman, Bobbi Simmons, said Alcoa publicly announced in December that Jeld-Wen had signed a letter of intent to acquire Caradco. The deal, now in the due diligence phase, is scheduled to close around April, she said in an interview at Caradco's booth.

Jeld-Wen, based in Klamath Falls, Ore., makes windows and doors, including wood and metal products.

In 1994 the firm's Wenco Windows unit introduced what it touted as the first window that featured a foamed PVC sash.

At the Builders' Show, Caradco displayed a wood window with a cellular foamed PVC profile. Bruce Deppa, Caradco training manager, said the part has the same density as wood components in the redesigned Classic Plus window.

``It allows us to nail it, but it keeps the weight consistent with what wood is,'' he said.

A primer is added so the PVC part can be painted. The foamed PVC parts are a blind stop and a sill nosing.

The move to sell Caradco to Jeld-Wen is not connected to the reported discussions to sell Alcoa's vinyl window extrusion operation, Dayton Technologies of Monroe, Ohio, to Deceuninck Plastics Industries NV of Belgium.

Although knowledgeable sources in the industry say that sale is progressing, officials of Alcoa, Deceuninck and Dayton Technologies declined to confirm the pending deal.