Jancor Cos. Inc., which unexpectedly shut down all of its plants on the weekend of Oct. 25-26 and laid off all of its manufacturing employees, filed for Chapter 11 protection Oct. 30 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.
The Perrysburg, Ohio-based company, which employed 833, plans to liquidate all of its assets, according to court documents. The company blamed resin and fuel prices, tightening credit markets and lower demand.
Jancor is the parent of vinyl siding makers Heartland Building Products Inc. in Booneville, Miss., and Infinite Building Products Inc. in Olive Branch, Miss.; vinyl fence, deck and railing extruder Outdoor Technologies Inc. in Macon, Miss.; vinyl window makers Kensington Windows in Vandergrift, Pa.; and Survivor Technologies in Hillside, N.J.
Heartland and Infinite claim about 6 percent of the U.S. market for residential vinyl siding, the court filing said.
Jancor's products go to market primarily through wholesale dealers and retailers. The company had net sales of about $214 million in 2007, and $130 million through the first three quarters of this year.
Jancor tried unsuccessfully to sell both the window fabrication business and the vinyl extrusion operations this year, company officials said in the filings.
``The consolidation of the vinyl siding industry is now well under way,'' said John Pruett, a principal with Exton, Pa.-based building products consulting firm Principia Partners, in an Oct. 31 telephone interview.
``The continued plant closings are another indicator that `creative destruction' is well under way, in building and construction in general, but particularly acute in vinyl siding and windows, due to sluggish demand,'' Pruett said, citing economist Joseph Schumpeter.
Local managers and economic development officials are trying to reopen the shuttered plants.
``From an economic development standpoint, that's something we're looking at here,'' said Gerald Williams, executive director of the Prentiss County Development Association, which is dealing with the Heartland plant closing in Booneville.
George Latta, who represents the International Union of Electrical Workers Local 88643 workers at Kensington Windows in Pennsylvania, said the plant manager there, Chuck Wetmore, is trying to organize financing to reopen that facility.
The closings come at a good time for competing vinyl siding manufacturers, said Bud Bootier, president of Wexford, Pa.-based consulting firm Pure Strategy. Winter is when distributors stock up on vinyl siding for the spring rush. But because of their own financing problems and the fact that PVC prices are declining, distributors are going to delay stocking up, hoping to buy less-expensive products later, Bootier said.
``This has the capability of tumbling a lot of dominoes,'' Bootier said. The remaining major-volume players in vinyl siding companies like Valley Forge, Pa.-based CertainTeed Corp.; Cary, N.C.-based Ply Gem Industries Inc.; and Montreal-based Kaycan Ltd. are likely to be scrambling to fill the void left by the unexpected shutdowns of Heartland and Infinite.
``It's going to be an interesting winter,'' he said.
As of September, Jancor had assets of about $65 million and liabilities of about $160 million, according to court filings. Unsecured creditors include Shintech Inc., with a claim of $9.63 million; OxyVinyls LP, at $3.4 million; and Deceuninck North America LLC, at $2.54 million.