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Kensington High Performance Products to concentrate on home windows

| Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The Kensington High Performance Products company plans to return to its roots with a sharper focus on making residential windows.

Serious Energy Inc. said on Monday it sold its vinyl window operations in Vandergrift to private investors, including employees at the plant and leaders at Alpen High Performance Products, which bought another Serious Energy plant in Colorado in 2012. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company was more focused on commercial windows and products such as its QuietRock line of acoustic drywall, said Chuck Wetmore, CEO and one of the owners of the Kensington company, which based its name on the plant's longtime identity as Kensington Windows.

After a long housing market slump, “We have seen a little bit of an uptick recently,” said Wetmore, who was vice president of operations when Serious Energy owned the facility. “In the last month, a lot of good things have been coming from dealers all over the country. We're seeing positive signs from home shows.”

The 50 employees will make the same products, geared more for residential use with aesthetic and environmental upgrades, he said.

Wetmore said he and John Barker, chief financial officer, own the company. Alpen's owners hold a minority share.

“We hope to get a heck of a lot bigger, and quickly,” he said, citing a goal of doubling the workforce in five years.

Serious Energy acquired Kensington Windows' assets in January 2009, a few months after then-owner Jancor Cos. Inc. of Ohio filed for bankruptcy and closed the plant. There were 150 workers before the closing.

Serious Energy installed new equipment, and the plant gradually hired back some former Kensington workers.

In 2012, Serious Energy moved some window production from a Chicago plant to Vandergrift.

Kim Leonard is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5606 or kleonard@tribweb.com.

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