Industry Reacts to Finalized Sale of Solar GardOctober 6th, 2011 | Category: Featured Content
“This transaction represents what we’ve been saying for years—that the future for specialized films is bright and that Solar Gard is best positioned to lead the market,” says Christophe Fremont, general manager of Solar Gard. “This partnership legitimizes the window film solution and opens the doors to the enormous glass market and sustainable habitat industry. This is an incredible opportunity for the industry overall, and we consider this historical strategic acquisition by Saint-Gobain as the most influential partnership that the industry has ever seen.”
Solar Gard’s three global production facilities and operations under development, sales and service centers worldwide and all employees currently working for the company were included in the transaction.
“The acquisition of Solar Gard is an important catalyst in the continued advancement of specialty films,” says Loic Mahe, vice president of composites at Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics.
Others have predicted success for the Solar Gard brand with this leadership change as well.
“Considering my history with Solar Gard and the window film industry in general, I think I am qualified to say that the Saint-Gobain acquisition of Solar Gard is going to be beyond great for our industry and of course, all the dealers associated with Solar Gard products,” says Mark Bollegar, president of MarketPro Direct in Tampa, Fla. “In fact, this might just be the most significant acquisition our industry has seen to date. Saint-Gobain is one of the world’s largest and most respected manufacturers of flat glass products. Finally there is an acquiring company that makes for a perfect marriage within our industry—one that will bring dramatic growth opportunities to the table. Window film has always been somewhat of an outcast step-child in the eyes of much of the glass and glazing industry, yet with Saint-Gobain behind Solar Gard, I see nothing but good coming from this union.”
The International Window Film Association (IWFA) also sees value in bringing a major player in the glass industry into the window film industry.
“Saint-Gobain is a major internationally recognized leader with an established commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency within the architectural market. Their decision to become a serious participant in the window film industry is a natural fit, due to the extensive energy-saving benefits of window film,” says Darrell Smith, executive director for the IWFA. “ Current and planned energy efficiency regulations, legislation, and incentives encourage more cost effective measures that can be deployed on a mass scale, and window films provide a solution to these needs. When there are new resources and expertise brought to bear in our industry, all members can benefit in the longer term, since the total reach, impact, and resources of the industry are increased.”
Yet others think it will be business as usual in their market.
“I’ve seen Solar Gard change hands a couple of times and they always hang in there,” says Lee Selvage, owner of Solar Guard of Alabama and a Solar Gard dealer. “Nothing will really change for us.”