National manufacturer buys Cheshire's Floral Glass

Oldcastle Glass of Santa Monica, Calif., purchased Floral Glass Industries of 224 Sandbank Road and will change the company's name to Oldcastle Cheshire.

The 40-employee operation manufactures large-size architectural insulating glass. The Floral Glass Group, headquartered in Hauppauge, N.Y., also has an operation in East Rutherford, N.J.

The sale, effective Aug. 1, does not affect any jobs within the company, a Floral top executive said. In fact, the company plans to expand its operation here and elsewhere.

"We are delighted to complete this important, strategic acquisition, which significantly strengthens our position in the Northeast U.S.," Ted Hathaway, chief executive officer of Oldcastle Glass, wrote in a statement announcing the sale.

Paul Bierber, vice president of Floral Glass, said the sale was a perfect fit because Oldcastle had resources that would enable the company to increase its current production line and add other lines in the future.

"Oldcastle has technologies and depth of personalities to train and teach us and will help us in the long run," Bierber said. "We are making a strong commitment to increasing production in Connecticut at that site."

Bierber would not disclose how much Oldcastle paid for the three plants.

Floral was founded in 1955 by Charles Kapalanek Sr., who emigrated to the United States from Europe and started the specialty mirror fabrication business in the town of Floral Park, N.Y. The business quickly grew into a well-known member of the architectural flat glass industry.

"Floral has prospered for 49 years as a family-owned and managed architectural glass company," said Chuck Kapalanek Jr., now president of Floral Glass Group. "Oldcastle is an excellent fit for Floral — we share a strong focus on delivering superior service and high quality products to our customers.

Oldcastle is one of the largest independent suppliers of architectural glass products and services and has more than 40 operating locations in North America, including five Canadian operations. Some of its products can be found at the Getty Center, the LAX Gateway, the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, and the Hawaii Convention Center. Oldcastle Glass is a U.S. subsidiary of CRH plc, a leading international building materials and products company based in Dublin, Ireland.

Word of the sale and possible expansion was good news to Cheshire Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mary Rossi.

Although the town had seen job losses in recent months, several expansions had offset some of the lost positions.

"We seem to be holding our own. It's always good news to hear that a company is expanding," Rossi said. "We hope it happens soon and I hope that means more jobs."

600450 National manufacturer buys Cheshire's Floral Glass
Date: 5 August 2004

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