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Ply Gem buys vinyl siding maker Mitten Inc.

By: Michael Lauzon

June 4, 2013

Vinyl building products major Ply Gem Industries Inc. is continuing its expansion thrust, this time through acquisition.

The Cary, N.C., firm has bought vinyl siding and accessories producer Mitten Inc. of Paris, Ontario. Ply Gem made the deal with Mitten's former owner, Graham Partners Inc. of Newtown Square, Pa., for undisclosed terms. Graham announced the deal June 4.

Ply Gem recently said it is expanding its Fair Bluff, N.C., plant through a $15.5 million investment. The company had estimated vinyl profile extrusion sales of $598 million, according to data from Plastics News' pipe, profile and tubing survey. The company also said last fall that it is boosting capacity at its Rocky Mount, Va., facility.

Prior to the Mitten expansion, Ply Gem had been running nine plants in the United States.

As Ply Gem expands, it plans to share its growth with the public. Ply Gem recently revealed it will launch an initial public stock offering on the New York Stock Exchange. In Securities and Exchange filings it stated it plans to offer 15,789,474 shares and expects underwriters to buy up an additional 2,368,421 shares. Ply Gem was formed in 2004 when a private equity firm started buying several building products businesses.

Graham characterized Ply Gem as a strategic acquirer. Graham bought the Mitten business in fall of 2011 and began instituting changes that resulted in 65 percent growth in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

Graham recruited a new CEO, a new chief financial officer and created new operation positions as it drew talent from within the building products industry. Graham said it improved Mitten's cost structure, implemented lean manufacturing and leveraged procurement strategies to boost savings.

"We partnered with Mitten's strong management team to successfully execute a development plan," stated Graham managing principal Adam Piatkowski in a news release. "We focused on broadening end markets and developing new product categories, while increasing profitability through procurement and operational improvements."