Sale to save 'a majority' of employees who faced layoffs by this summer

VPI Quality Windows signed a letter of intent to acquire all window and door manufacturing assets of Beaverton-based Mercer Industries/Mercer Windows, which announced in March it would close and phase out its workforce of 70 employees by this summer.

The sale is expected to be complete by June 30.

Based in Spokane, Wash., VPI will acquire the Mercer brand and manufacturing assets, which include several proprietary window-design technologies. VPI intends to retain a majority of Mercer Windows’ employees, including management, inside sales staff and production workers at its facility at 10760 S.W. Denney Road, as well as field sales staff.

“This acquisition provides a variety of outstanding additions to our high-performance window product line and also allows us to rapidly add high-quality aluminum window and door offerings to our customers,” said Burke Blevins, VPI's president and chief executive officer. “We are proud to have the opportunity to keep the Mercer legacy alive, making Mercer windows, with Mercer employees at the Mercer facility.”

Mercer was negatively affected by the Great Recession, which saw a drastic slowdown in housing and commercial construction. Mercer's board of directors commissioned a third-party business and financial analysis of its manufacturing and sales operations that concluded an "orderly winding down of operations" was the only course of action to preserve remaining value in the organization’s assets, including several proprietary window design technologies.

Dan Boverman, Mercer's chief restructuring officer, announced on March 24 that the 88-year-old company would reduce its workforce and close by this summer, barring a sale or intervention from an outside investor.

“We’re delighted with this outcome,” Boverman said on Tuesday. “Mercer Industries had significant discussions with many window and door companies over the past few weeks, and VPI emerged as the best fit. Not only will VPI be a quality steward of the Mercer Windows product line, customers, employees and suppliers, it is well positioned to allow us to quickly resume normal business operations, which is great news for our customers.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1993, VPI Quality Windows manufactures high-performance vinyl windows and patio doors and markets to architects, contractors and homeowners, fabricating window products for the residential retrofit and multi-family home markets. The company’s 90,000-square-foot Spokane plant serves dealers in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Hawaii.

Mercer was founded in 1926 as Mercer Steel Co., Inc. Evolving into Mercer Industries, the company manufactures high-performance vinyl and aluminum frame window and door products for the residential, multi-family and commercial markets under the Mercer Windows brand.

The company helped usher dual-glazed windows into the region, and welded vinyl windows and doors. Products include the R-5 insulated triple-pane window and the Little Tot window opening control device, which was designed to protect children from window falls.

Mercer was recognized with a Beaverton 4 Business award at a June 22, 2012, Beaverton City Council meeting.

"Clearly, the company and those operations affiliated with it historically were major contributors to the economy and community in Portland," Boverman said on March 27.

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