"Today, we are announcing the shutdown of the T-2 furnace in Tulsa. We plan to sell our remaining commercial inventory during the first half of the year and exit the commercial glass business.
"The Tulsa Plant has supported the architectural business for more than 35 years. Product quality and customer satisfaction always have been our highest priority, and for that, we should all be proud. However the worldwide economic environment has had a severe impact on the entire architectural business. Commercial construction (Zeledyne’s primary architectural market) was down 16% in 2008 and fell another 43 % in 2009. Unfortunately, the outlook for commercial building remains bleak. Although specific estimates vary, there is near unanimous opinion that 2010 will be even more difficult than 2009. Some analysts predict signs of improvement in 2011, while others suggest that a meaningful recovery is another five years away.
"Despite the poor outlook in architectural glass, the market is changing in ways that would require us to make major capital investments. A growing interest in Low E glass and other new products that address environmental trends are needed to remain viable in this market segment. Yet these major investments cannot be justified in this economic climate and with our current financial position.*
"I wish I had better news to share. This has been a very difficult decision, but one that had to be made.
"As we move forward, we will seek the best possible solutions for our employees, and support our current valued customers through the sale of existing inventory over the next several months. We will continue to adjust the business as conditions dictate and will keep your informed of any changes in our plans."