Window components manufacturers merge
Houston-based Quanex Building Products Corp. has agreed to purchase Edgetech I.G., a maker of warm edge insulating glass spacer systems for window and door customers in North America and abroad. The all-cash transaction, valued at $107 million, is expected to close on April 1.
Headquartered in Cambridge, Ohio, Edgetech has three manufacturing plants in the United States, Germany and the U.K. Edgetech’s products separate and seal double and triple pane glass within a window and further act as a thermal barrier to conserve energy. It will be part of Quanex’s engineered products group.
Quanex Building Products is a publicly held manufacturer of engineered materials, components and systems, serving the U.S residential window and door markets.
Standard Pacific names new president
Standard Pacific Homes has appointed Scott Stowell as its new president, reporting to CEO Ken Campbell. Stowell has served as the company’s chief operating officer since 2007 and was instrumental in Standard Pacific Homes’ successful financial and operational transformation, according to the announcement.
Prior to being appointed COO, Stowell held progressive roles within Standard Pacific, including president of the Orange County division and president of the Southern California region.
“[Stowell’s] expertise was vital in transforming Standard Pacific Homes from a company that some had counted out of the game to one of the frontrunners in the industry,” CEO Campbell said. “As we turn our sights toward building for the future and focus on land acquisition and a revitalized housing market, I look forward to continuing to work together to take our organization to the next level."
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Standard Pacific has operations in major metropolitan areas in California, Florida, Arizona, the Carolinas, Texas, Colorado and Nevada.
February housing starts sink 22.5%
Inexplicably, housing starts took a dive in February, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Commerce.
Privately owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 479,000; that’s 22.5% below the upwardly revised January estimate of 618,000. It’s also 20.8% below the February 2010 rate of 605,000.
Even more disappointing from a home builder’s standpoint, February’s number was the second worst month on record. Only April 2009 generated a slower rate of home construction, at 477,000.
On a single-family basis, starts were at a pace of 375,000, the lowest since March 2009.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) described the results as "disconcerting" in a release today.
"The decline in new construction and permits in February is the culmination of a great deal of nervousness that both builders and consumers are feeling right now," said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the NAHB and a home builder from Reno, Nev. "In an already-fragile market where credit for building and buying homes remains extremely tight, additional concerns about energy costs, interest rates and other factors are contributing to an atmosphere in which many have adopted a very cautious stance."