ProVia Door Purchases Assets of Heartland Building Products

January 6th, 2009 by Editor

ProVia Door in Sugarcreek, Ohio, announced on January 5 that it has purchased the assets of Heartland Building Products (HBP) (vinyl siding producer) in Booneville, Miss., from Jancor Companies Inc. as well as two separate manufacturing facilities in Olive Branch, Miss., and Macon, Miss. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved the purchase of HBP assets on January 5 and the transaction will be completed in a number of days.Jancor made news in October when the company filed for bankruptcy. In addition to owning Heartland, the company also owned two window companies: Kensington Windows and Survivor Technologies which closed its doors (click here for related stories ).

Joe Klink, marketing projects coordinator for the company told DWM magazine that ProVia looked into the purchase immediately after hearing of news of its closing, and adds that it was a ProVia distributor that said the company would be “a good fit” for the company.

“This distributor reaffirmed that the quality of HBP’s products and quality of employees would make it a good fit for the company,” says Klink. He adds that there was already some crossover between HGP distributors and that of ProVia.

Klink does point out, however, that this does not mean that ProVia “now offers vinyl siding.” We want each group to focus on their specific products,” he says, “and we will draw on the expertise of those at Heartland.”

He adds that another reason ProVia took a strong look at the company was due to the Mississippi area in which it was located and the 400 jobs that were lost there.

“We really care about people, and unless you work here that may be hard for people to understand,” he says.

“The quality and reputation of the products manufactured by the fine people at HBP reflect the high standards that our organization has maintained,” says ProVia president and CEO Bill Mullet. “We look forward to the revitalization of these products and services by integrating our philosophy of doing things ‘The Professional Way.’ We are excited about rehiring many of the HBP employees to build a team that can effectively support the Heartland products.”

ProVia’s vice president of business improvement, Brian Miller, has facilitated the negotiations, and is leading the revitalization process. A fast-track timeline has been established to resume production in the Booneville siding manufacturing facility within the next week.

“The people at Heartland bring a great deal of value to the overall quality of the company. After spending considerable time meeting many of the people I am convinced their ethics reflect that of ProVia. Through their help we will be able to resume operations very quickly,” says Miller.

Interview with a Former HBP Employee
Last week, before news of ProVia’s purchase became public, DWM magazine talked to Tom Madden, vice president of sales and marketing for Jancor’s Heartland Division. He told of how Jancor left employees not only jobless, but also with additional, unexpected expenses.

“It’s bad enough to lose [your] job, but it’s another thing to be responsible for insurance money when you paid premiums for insurance,” he said, “not to mention receive no severance, and only 20 percent of the business/travel expenses incurred before the bankruptcy. Only 50 percent of the vacation was paid, all medical coverage ceased immediately and there was no COBRA coverage offered because the companies were self-insured.”

Madden says that even when he heard on a Friday that the company would close that Monday, “in his wildest dreams he had no idea employees would be stuck with those expenses.” He only found that out two weeks after they closed. Madden was left with $1,000 in unpaid bills but knows people who were out $2,000 to $4,000. He knows of at least one employee who had $30,000 of surgery that won’t be paid, although the employee paid his insurance premiums. And that’s just the beginning.

“We had people that had pre-existing conditions like cancer and now it’s hard to get insurance,” says Madden.

Madden says he watched the Republic coverage on television-with much of the nation-and couldn’t help but compare what happened there with his own experience at Jancor.

“When I watched the news coverage I sat there wondering whether the Republic employees were going to be treated as badly as we were-at that time I didn’t know who the lender was,” says Madden. “The good thing was that Bank of America stepped up due to political pressure.”

Jancor’s loan was from PNC Bank, and officials there did not respond to Madden’s calls. He adds that Jancor employees have contacted several agencies such as the state attorney general and various state agencies asking them to investigate the situation.
“If [Jancor] had invoked the WARN Act we would have been prepared for this,” says Madden.

Following news of the Heartland purchase, Madden said, “I think Provia will probably be a good fit long-term for the company. The sad part about this is because of the Bank’s poor decision making and inability to understand what a good brand Heartland was and what that brand was worth in the market that only about 35-40 employees will be back.

There were roughly 225 employees at the time of the closures working at Heartland alone. Provia will have a tough road ahead of them because many customers have moved onto other brands, probably offering a reduced product lineup, the economy and the fact that the new Heartland won’t be anything like the old Heartland.”

When asked how many Heartland employees ProVia would bring back Klink said, “We’re still in the process of hiring many workers, and all we know at this point is that we’ll hire enough people to effectively run the business … we don’t know how many that will be at this point.

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  1. I used to work as a sales rep for heartland in Indiana. After 15 years at Mastic Corp. ( 9 as a sales rep in Indiana & Kentucky and 6 as Western Regtional Manager ) I had left them. When I went with Heartland I loved the product, the customers and employees. I left because of a great offer from a distributor who then got sold. I would be very intrested in a position with Heartland again. I know all the distributors and most siding contractors in Indiana and would get great reccomendations from them. I would like to know who I can contact concerning an opportunity with Heartland. I can be reached at 317-292-7884. I know I could mend some fences with distributors and go forward with success. Thank you very much

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