PPG announces glass business realignment
Company investing $100 million in plant upgrades, announcing plant closuresCHESWICK, Pa., Sept. 24, 2008 –
With demand declining for automotive and residential window glass, PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) has announced it is realigning its performance glazings business. The company said it will cease production at its Owen Sound, Ont., Canada, glass manufacturing facility in the first quarter 2009. Shipping and distribution of products there will continue until inventory is depleted. The company also said it would idle one float glass line at its Mt. Zion, Ill., glass plant in the second quarter next year. In addition, PPG said it is investing $100 million in its remaining glass-making facilities.
The plant and unit closures coincide with rebuilt, higher-throughput lines reopening at PPG glass plants in Carlisle, Pa., and Wichita Falls, Texas. They also are affected by PPG’s July 8 announcement of the pending sale of its automotive glass and services business to an affiliate of funds managed by the private equity firm of Kohlberg & Company, LLC.
“This realignment will enable us to adapt to the changing demands of the industry,” said Mark Orcutt, PPG vice president, performance glazings. “The changes are part of PPG’s transformation of its performance glazing business and will help to improve our focus on profitable market segments and value-added products.”
Orcutt specifically cited specialized glass for the emerging solar market and energy-efficient glass to satisfy evolving building codes fueled by the green building movement, which is driving the commercial construction market. The realignment of profitable business segments, he added, will strengthen PPG’s glass operations and enhance the company’s ability to meet the needs of customers who seek coated and high-performance glass products.
“PPG invests very heavily in the development of new products and technologies,” Orcutt said, “so it’s important that we leverage this in markets that value and reward scientific advance.”
As part of the business transformation, the company is investing $100 million in various projects to improve productivity at its remaining glass facilities. According to Orcutt, “In addition to the higher throughput lines coming onstream in 2009, we’ve identified several opportunities to improve efficiency and expand operations at our other glass plants.” The $100 million capital investment program, which includes both equipment and process upgrades, is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter 2009.About PPG
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 150 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com