JELD-WEN's business strategy is open and shut. A leading maker of windows and doors, the company offers aluminum, vinyl, and wood windows; interior and exterior doors; garage doors; swinging and sliding patio doors; and door frames and moldings. Tracing its roots to 1960, the company operates more than 100 manufacturing and distribution sites and sells its products in some 20 countries, mainly in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Australia. In late 2011, Canadian private equity firm Onex invested more than $870 million in JELD-WEN, gaining a nearly 60% stake in the company.
Onex's majority share buyout came on the heels of a tumultuous financial period for JELD-WEN, and it reportedly saved the company from filing for bankruptcy. As the real estate crash occurred and the demand for construction supplies plummeted, the company was forced to restructure its operations. JELD-WEN shut down factories in Wisconsin and in the UK. The company also trimmed expenses by cutting some jobs at its plants, offices, and it sold three of its resort communities in Oregon to Northview Hotel Group and affiliates of Oaktree Capital Management.
In October 2012 JELD-WEN acquired CraftMaster Manufacturing, a maker of molded door facings and doors as well as exterior composite trim and panels. The deal expanded JELD-WEN's footprint in the US and gave the company access to proprietary technology. It also gave JELD-WEN an increased focus on environmentally-friendly products.
Former chairman Richard Wendt and his siblings founded JELD-WEN in 1960. The name JELD-WEN is an acronym created from the initials of the company's founder's parents and sister. The Wendt family and other JELD-WEN employees continue to own a stake in the company following its investment from Onex. – less