USA: Glass Group Inc. buys parts of Carr Lowrey Glass Co.

Glass Group Inc. of Millville, New Jersey announced 17 June 2003 that it has agreed to buy glass molds, customer lists and production contracts from the recently closed Carr Lowrey Glass Co., the last…

Glass Group Inc. of Millville, New Jersey announced 17 June 2003 that it has agreed to buy glass molds, customer lists and production contracts from the recently closed Carr Lowrey Glass Co., the last glassmaker in Baltimore. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Glass Group Inc. also said it intends to hire an unspecified number of Carr Lowery Glass sales and manufacturing specialists. Those employees will probably be moved to the Glass Group“s operations in Park Hills, Missouri, said V. Paul Weikel, the company“s vice president of engineering. “The Baltimore [Carr Lowrey] facility has a proud history of [almost] 115 years of continuous production. A lot can be said of its history,” Weikel said. “But time goes on and the business continues. We are very excited about this acquisition.” On 6 June 2003 Carr Lowrey closed its Kloman Street factory, where it had operated continuously since its founding in 1889. The closure resulted in 250 job losses although Carr Lowrey President K. Wayne Long confirmed that a few administrative people had stayed on to “wind things down.” The deal with the Glass Group was completed 16 June 2003. Carr Lowrey had been been in difficulties for several years, though it had avoided filing for bankruptcy protection. In 1999, the company took out a USD 7 million loan from the Abell Foundation to save it from Swiss creditors. Carr Lowrey made products such as perfume bottles and specialty glassware. Its business declined, in part, as plastic for containers and bottles grew in popularity at the expense of glass. It also faced stronger competition from much-bigger rivals, according to experts. Weikel was part of an investment group that purchased what is now called the Glass Group in September 2002. Before that, Glass Group had been a unit of Alcan Inc. of Montreal and, like Carr Lowrey, had been in difficulty, Weikel said. Weikel said the Glass Group has annual revenue of about USD 125 million and a joint-venture based in Beijing. Carr Lowrey had annual sales of roughly USD 20 million. “We“re taking over their entire product line,” Weikel said.