Loewen Windows Sold
of Steinbach has been purchased by VKR Holding
Clyde Loewen, leader of the Loewen family shareholder group broke the news to staff Wednesday morning calling it a good solution for where the company is at. He says "through much consideration, the Loewen family shareholders have come to the collective decision that the needs of the company and those of the Loewen shareholders would be best served through a transition of ownership to a new ownership group. The Loewen shareholders believe that VKR will bring the resources, capabilities and character to ensure the future success of Loewen in the marketplace while maintaining respect for all of its stakeholders as well as for the culture of the staff and the community. The Loewen family shareholders would like to thank the staff of Loewen, past and present, for their contribution and commitment to the company over the years."
VKR Holding is based in Denmark and owns companies within roof windows, vertical windows, thermal solar energy plus ventilation and indoor climate. It has a total of approximately 14,000 employees in more than 40 countries. VKR Holding is owned by foundations and by family and its main shareholder is the foundation Villum Fonden.
Loewen says the economic downturn was a factor in the sale. He says the housing recession was tough on business, particularly in the United States where they have a strong presence and make majority of their sales. But he says VKR has a strategy and will continue to have a presence in the United States.
As for the Loewen Family Foundation, Loewen says the foundation will continue for the time being but the prime funding body will be owned by someone else and so its longterm future is not totally clear.
Loewen admits having mixed feelings today. He notes family shareholders overwhelmingly viewed this as a good solution for where the company is at. Loewen adds this move is positive for shareholders, VKR, staff and the community.
Ken Moody is Director of Business Development in North America for VKR Holding. He says VKR has no intentions to make any physical changes to the Steinbach manufacturing space, or move any staff. The business also does not plan to change any of the Loewen branding.
Moody says VKR finds Lowen to be a very good company, with good market position, quality products and strong brands across Canada and the United States. He notes Loewen also has a skilled workforce and a great management team, making it a really good fit for VKR.
The existing Loewen executive team will remain in place. Al Babiuk, previously Chief Operating Officer, will assume the Chief Executive Officer role, with Clyde Loewen remaining as Executive responsible for products. The other members of the Loewen Executive team will remain in their positions. Charles Loewen will sit as a member of the Board of Directors of Loewen. Claes Warnander, a highly experienced member of V-K-R’s team, will act as Chairman of Loewen’s Board.