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Lawsuit targets Ply Gem filings

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A new class action suit against Ply Gem Holdings is charging the exterior building products manufacturer with misrepresenting its financial performance.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP announced the suit on Monday, which is being filed on behalf of an institutional investor in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers of Ply Gem shares related to its May 22, 2013 IPO.

The complaint alleges that Ply Gem violated the Securities Act by deliberately neglecting to disclose information in its Registration Statement that had a material effect on its future operating results.

Among the alleged "lies by ommission" were Ply Gem’s agreement to buy back inventory from The Home Depot, which stipulated that Ply Gem initially sell the retailer a large volume of low-priced, low-margin product that Ply Gem had difficulty selling during April and May of last year.

Additionally, the Registration Statement allegedly failed to properly disclose all material risks and changes in Ply Gem’s business affairs.

Lawyers allege that these ommitted events altered the company’s operating results for the worse during the second quarter ended June 29, 2013 — such that its common shares are now trading at a level that’s 50% lower than the IPO price.

A Ply Gem spokesperson told HCN that the company has not yet been served with the lawsuit and does not comment on active litigation.

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At Armstrong, an effort to inspire

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Armstrong World Industries has embarked on a bit of a brand makeover. Predicated upon the tagline "Inspiring Great Spaces," the new platform highlight’s the company’s commitment to innovation and creativity.

"Since our inception, the Armstrong name has stood for quality, trust and dependability," said Armstrong CEO Matt Espe. "Through our innovative and sustainable ceiling and flooring solutions, we help our customers expand their design possibilities to create high-functioning, beautiful interiors for homes and commercial buildings around the world. ‘Inspiring Great Spaces’ is really what Armstrong is all about."

The new tagline is flanked by two new branding colors: Morado, a blue violet the company says stands for "creativity and leadership," and Tungsten, a gray color representing "elegance, balance and power."

Espe added, "Our brand is one of our most powerful assets, second only to our people. This fresh approach illustrates the exciting evolution of our story."

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Newell Rubbermaid opens Design Center in Michigan

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Newell Rubbermaid opened a 40,000-sq.-ft. Design Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a move it says will boost its numerous brands.

"The opening of our new Design Center represents another step forward in our ambition to become a design- and innovation-led company," said CEO and president Michael Polk. "Our pipeline of new products is strengthening, and with the Design Center now operational, we will further the development of new ideas that distinguish our brands in the marketplace. Newell’s new Design Center is a great example of our Growth Game Plan in action."

The facility is made up of a large, open studio space where designers can easily collaborate, as well as immersion labs for each of the company’s business segments, where design and marketing teams can evaluate and conceptualize product prototypes. An on-site model shop provides space to build, test and paint new designs, and a usability lab will enable the newly created usability team to interact with consumers and end-users to create better product experiences. A professional photography studio rounds out the lineup of amenities.

"We have conversations with millions of consumers through our products every day, and through great design and innovation we will elevate these conversations to a new level," said Chuck Jones, Newell Rubbermaid’s chief design and research & development officer. "Our new Design Center brings together all the disciplines in design and innovation under one roof to collaborate across our entire portfolio of great brands."

In its finished state and at full capacity, the facility will host approximately 100 professionals.

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