Order for Jeld-Wen to Divest Towanda Plant Upheld

December 18th, 2018 by Drew Vass, Executive Editor

After a lengthy legal battle between door manufacturers Jeld-Wen and Steves and Sons Inc. (Steves), December 15, Federal Judge Robert E. Payne issued a final judgment, ordering that Jeld-Wen divest its Towanda, Pa.-based manufacturing plant. A court appointed “special master” will oversee the divestiture and sale of the plant.

On October 5, 2018, court deliberations came to a close following a trial-by-jury process finding that Jeld-Wen’s acquisition of Craftmaster International (CMI) violated antitrust provisions. Following a three-day evidentiary hearing and, according to a court-published document, the motion by Steves ordering Jeld-Wen to divest its Towanda, Pa.-based manufacturing plant was upheld. Jeld-Wen acquired the facility via its purchase of CMI in 2012.

Now, more than two months following the initial ruling, a federal judge has made the order for divestiture final.

“The public interest is best served by ordering divestiture and the related conduct remedies herein provided,” Payne wrote in official court documents.

“[This] judgment is a culmination of years of investment and effort, all aimed at the preservation of competition and choice, and the future of our 152-year-old company,” says Edward G. Steves, CEO of Steves.

Officials for Jeld-Wen maintain that their company hasn’t violated antitrust laws, and remain intent on appealing the verdict.

“Jeld-Wen believes that the district court’s ruling is in numerous respects both unprecedented and fundamentally incorrect as a matter of law, and results from a flawed trial process that improperly limited the company’s defenses,” company officials said in an official press release. “Rather than resolving a simple contractual dispute between two parties, the district court has now delivered an erroneous ruling that improperly interferes with our company and the broader commercial marketplace,” claims Jeld-Wen president and chief executive officer Gary S. Michel.

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