VINYL WINDOW DEALS ABOUND WORLDWIDE

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HOUSTON — Mergers and acquisitions activity in vinyl window production has not been limited to U.S. and Canadian public companies.

Window profile extruder CertainTeed Corp., owned by publicly traded French firm Compagnie de Saint-Gobain, last year bought two of its licensed window fabricators: Fashonwall Inc. of Wixom, Mich., and B&K Window Manufacturing Inc. of Woodinville, Wash.

CertainTeed also formed a joint venture with window extruder Insulate Industries Inc. of Auburn, Wash.

CertainTeed, based in Valley Forge, Pa., has been a long-time force in North American vinyl extrusion. But the fast-growing U.S. vinyl window extrusion market has begun to attract new publicly traded European buyers, most recently from Belgium.

Tessenderlo Group is buying Chelsea Building Products of Oakmont, Pa. Deceuninck Plastics Industries NV is negotiating to purchase Monroe, Ohio-based Dayton Technologies from Aluminum Co. of America.

In 1995, Germany's Thyssen Polymer announced a joint venture with Vinyl Building Products in Oakland, N.J.

The consolidation boom also is not limited to public companies. Privately held siding extruder AmeriMark Inc. of Raleigh, N.C., bought Reynolds Metals Co.'s vinyl siding extrusion plant in Lynchburg, Va., and the Reynolds window fabrication plant in Bourbon, Ind. The Indiana plant is AmeriMark's first window assembly operation.

Jeld-Wen Inc., a low-key manufacturer of wood and metal windows and doors in Klamath Falls, Ore., is buying Alcoa's fabricator of vinyl and wood windows, Caradco in Rantoul, Ill.

Alcoa said the deal could close this month.