Custom Window Systems (CWS) is a designer, manufacturer, and marketer of impact-resistant and non-impact windows and doors, as well as porch enclosure products. CWS primarily serves the repair and remodeling markets in Florida and other coastal regions that maintain strict building codes due to exposure to high winds, tropical storms, and hurricanes. The company was founded in 1986 and has 290 employees. CWS is based in Ocala, FL (www.cws.cc).
CWS will continue to operate under its existing name and operating structure. Greg Schorr, a Senior Advisor for Highlander Partners, will join CWS as the President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Schorr was formerly the President and COO of the parent company of Simonton Windows. John Cwik, the founder of CWS, President and CEO, will continue to work with the company in a consulting and advisory role.
“I think this is the perfect time to reenter the window and door industry and I am glad to do it in partnership with Highlander. We see a huge opportunity to capitalize on a rebounding housing market with one of the nation’s leading independent designers and manufacturers of windows and doors,” said Mr. Schorr.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to draw on our collective backgrounds in the window and door industry and leverage our expertise in working with CWS. John and his team did a great job of managing the business through the downturn, and John’s forward-looking decision to refocus his operations from aluminum to vinyl windows and doors in 2006 positions the company to capitalize on a long-term market transition to vinyl, which has been driven by energy code changes,” said Jeff Hull, Highlander’s Managing Partner and the new Chairman of CWS. Mr. Hull is the former Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Atrium Companies Inc., one of the largest window and door manufacturers in the United States. “We see a rebounding housing market and believe additional acquisition opportunities exist that could further a national window company strategy.”
Highlander Partners makes investments in middle market businesses in targeted industries in which the principals of the firm have significant operating and investing experience. Sectors of interest include healthcare, basic manufacturing, food, and building materials. The firm has over $400 million in capital under management and is based in Dallas, TX (www.highlander-partners.com).
Regions Bank provided senior financing facilities for this acquisition and Raymond James served as the exclusive financial advisor to CWS.
© 2012 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 12-12-12