Officials at Permasteelisa, which has U.S. headquarters in Windsor, Conn., declined to comment.
Permasteelisa Group is a glazing contractor that provides engineering, project management, manufacturing and installation of architectural envelopes and interior systems on high-end projects around the world. According to the company website, the group generates a total turnover of around EUR 1 billion annually. It includes the Josef Gartner GmbH segment, which focuses on curtainwall fabrication, and the Permasteelisa Interiors division.
JS Group, headquartered in Tokyo, is not new to the curtainwall business. According to its website, the "Group commands high market share in curtainwalls and sashes for commercial buildings and retail stores." In the exterior market, products such as balconies, terraces, gates and fences are sold under Tostem, Shin Nikkei and TOEX brands of LIXIL Corp. Among its wide-ranging housing-related businesses, Tokyo-based JS Group owns Japan's fourth-largest aluminum sash company, Shin Nikkei, which it purchased in April 2010. Last October, the company purchased stake in a China-based curtainwall producer. In 2005, the group formed Asahi Tostem Exterior Building Materials Co. Ltd. by integrating its exterior wall materials business, Tostem Corp., with Asahi Glass Co. Ltd.
Glenn Heitmann, president and chief executive officer of curtainwall consulting firm Heitmann & Associates, which has worked with Permasteelisa on many projects, said he was simply amazed by the news, "If, in fact, it's all true … there's never a dull moment in this industry," says Heitmann, who adds, "It just seemed to come from nowhere; we never really heard anything about it."
Heitmann says it will be very interesting to see how this will impact the rest of the market.
"Does the competition now have a better opportunity?" he wonders.