A downturn in the economy, and in the housing industry in particular, affects companies involved in construction, carpet manufacturing, appliance distribution, and in places many tend to overlook – like window manufacturing.
The Accu-Weld Replacement Window & Door Company, based in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia, nearly became a victim of such an economy. Despite a well-recognized brand, the company lost several large accounts and was forced to lay off about 200 employees in 2008, down from a high of 300 just three years prior.
After emerging from bankruptcy, its new owners were faced with one of two scenarios for the business; find a buyer – any buyer – or shut down.
Haddon Windows L.L.C., owned and operated by a group consisting of five brothers of the Haddon family, their father and a brother-in-law, nearly all of whom have extensive experience marketing and selling windows and doors, took a look at Accu-Weld. Before purchasing the company, however, they enlisted the services of Dilworth Paxson to help guide them through the process of buying a distressed business.
Dilworth Paxson performed its legal due diligence and negotiated the legal terms of the purchase agreement and related services agreements in a short time frame, closing the acquisition within six weeks of starting its work. During that time, the firm negotiated with the unions whose members were employed by Accu-Weld to amend the collective bargaining agreements, a critical component of the purchase. And after the sale was final, Dilworth Paxson even helped the new owners successfully appeal their property tax assessment.
By preserving Accu-Weld as an operating business, Dilworth Paxson essentially aided in saving about 140 jobs in the Philadelphia region. And now business is looking up. In the past year, the company has introduced a new highly energy efficient product line and upgraded facilities and operations.
The $787 billion Federal stimulus package that was passed in February 2009 made rebates and other financial incentives available for purchasing energy-saving products, such as those made by Accu-Weld. The company has seen a huge increase in the number of units produced that qualify for the tax credit, and sales were reported up 20 percent. Most recently, the company – renamed “Haddon Windows & Doors” turned back to Dilworth Paxson to assist in the acquisition of a door business in early 2010. For the owners and employees at Haddon Windows, the future is bright.