Armstrong World Industries

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Armstrong World Industries, Inc.
Type Public
Traded as NYSEAWI
Industry Construction Materials
Founded Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Headquarters Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Key people Matthew J. Espe, President and CEO
Products Flooring
Ceilings
Revenue IncreaseUS$2.860 billion (2011)[1]
Operating income IncreaseUS$239.2 million (2011)[1]
Net income IncreaseUS$112.4 million (2011)[1]
Total assets IncreaseUS$2.995 billion (2011)[1]
Total equity IncreaseUS$1.130 billion (2011)[1]
Employees 9,100 (Dec 2011) [1]
Website Armstrong.com

Armstrong World Industries, Inc. is a Pennsylvania corporation incorporated in 1891.[2] It is an international designer and manufacturer of floors and ceilings. Based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Armstrong operates 32 plants in eight countries and has approximately 8,500 employees worldwide.[3] In 2011, Armstrong’s net sales were $2.86 billion, with operating income of $239.2 million.[1]

Armstrong World Industries, Inc. emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization on October 2, 2006.[4] Its stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange October 18, 2006 under the ticker symbol AWI. The Armstrong World Industries, Inc. Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust, holds approximately 66% of AWI’s outstanding common shares. Armstrong's “Fourth Amended Plan of Reorganization, as Modified,” dated February 21, 2006, and confirmed by U.S. District Court Judge Eduardo Robreno in August 2006,[5] become effective Oct. 2, 2006.[4] The Plan includes a comprehensive settlement resolving AWI’s asbestos liability by establishing and funding a trust to compensate all current and future asbestos personal injury claimants. The company had filed for reorganization December 6, 2000,[6] with the federal bankruptcy court in Delaware for reorganization under Chapter 11 because pending asbestos injury claims appeared to exceed the value of the company, and were growing.

“In addition to resolving AWI’s asbestos liability, we used the time in Chapter 11 to restructure our flooring business to make it more competitive,” Mr. Lockhart said. “We made substantial improvements in our cost structure by closing several plants and streamlining our workforce in the U.S. We have also expanded capacity to manufacture wood flooring, broadened our product lines and improved product quality and customer service.”

On March 27, 2007, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. and NPM Capital N.V. entered into an agreement to sell Tapijtfabriek H. Desseaux N.V. and its subsidiaries, the principal operating companies in Armstrong’s European Textile and Sports Flooring business segment, to NPM Capital N.V.[7] The sale was finalized in April 2007.[8]

On February 15, 2007, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. announced that it was initiating a review of its strategic alternatives.[9]

History[edit]

Former Armstrong Cork Company building in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (built circa 1901)

In 1860, Thomas M. Armstrong, the son of Scottish-Irish immigrants from Derry, joined with John D. Glass to open a one-room shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, carving bottle stoppers from cork by hand. Their first deliveries were made in a wheelbarrow. Armstrong was a business pioneer in some respects: he branded each cork he shipped as early as 1864, and soon was putting a written guarantee in each burlap bag of corks he shipped from his big new factory. The company grew to be the largest cork supplier in the world by the 1890s. The company incorporated in 1891.

Cork began being displaced by other closures, but the company introduced insulating corkboard and brick. In 1906, two years before he died, Thomas Armstrong concluded that the solid foundation of the future was covered with linoleum, and construction began on a new factory in a cornfield at the edge of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 1909, Armstrong linoleum was first offered to the trade.

After corkboard, the logical move was to fiberboard, and then to ceiling board. Cork tile and linoleum led to vinyl flooring, then ceramic tile, laminate flooring and carpeting.

In 1998, Armstrong acquired Triangle Pacific Corp., a leading manufacturer of hardwood flooring and kitchen/bathroom cabinets.[10]

In 2009, Armstrong’s annual net Sales Total US$2.8Billion.[11]

Armstrong Cabinets is no longer owned by Armstrong World Industries. The business was sold to American Industrial Partners on October 31, 2012.

Armstrong Manor[edit]

Armstrong Manor property.
Formerly known as Armstrong Manor, the property is currently owned by Rodgers & Associates of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and is now called The Manor.

The Armstrong Manor was originally purchased by Armstrong World Industries for use as a central location to house the company’s young sales trainees.[12][13][14][15] The home was later used in other capacities, such as meeting space and temporary housing for visiting employees. Armstrong owned the property from May 1920 to December 2011. The property is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

The oldest part of Armstrong Manor, originally known as Bloomington Farm, was built in 1866 by David P. Locher, a prosperous local tanner, banker, and farmer.[13][14][16] The 4-acre property remained a part of Locher’s estate until April 9, 1906, when Grove Locher purchased the property for $21,000.[14]

On May 29, 1920, the then Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Armstrong Cork Company purchased the mansion from Grove Locher and his wife for $26,930.[14] The company’s second president, Charles D. Armstrong, was disturbed by the conditions in which his son, Dwight, and other new sales employees were living within various rented housing across Lancaster. C.D. Armstrong and his wife, Gertrude Virginia Ludden Armstrong, were also aware of the difficulties with the transition from campus life to industrial living, and desired a more comfortable living space for their sales trainees.[12][15][17] Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong also wanted to have a suitable location for business meetings with visiting employees from other areas.[14] The house was used as a living space for the sales trainees (all single men) during their 6-month training program at the Lancaster, PA flooring plant.[13] The company spent an additional $27,742.87 on renovations and renamed the property Armstrong Manor.[14]

More recently, The Manor provided housing for visiting Armstrong employees and customers, and continued to fulfill its role as a meeting space. The property also had a facilities maintenance department (plumbers, electricians, and a mailroom) to support the property.[18]

In November 2010, Armstrong World Industries announced its plan to close Armstrong Manor by the end of the year citing that The Manor and the facilities department were no longer part of the “…core to being a building products manufacturer.”[18] Armstrong Manor was sold to Rodgers & Associates, a wealth management firm based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on December 15, 2011.[18][19]

Divisions[edit]

In the 1920s, the Armstrong Cork Products Company and Sherwin Williams company were the largest industrial customers for hemp fiber.

In 1938, Armstrong bought Whitall Tatum, a leading manufacturer of glass stand-off insulators for utility poles since 1922. The existing molds were eventually replaced with molds bearing the Armstrong name. In April 1969, the business was sold to Kerr Glass Manufacturing Corporation. Demand was rapidly dropping, as utilities were converting to ceramics or going underground, and Kerr moved production to their Dunkirk, Indiana factory in the mid-1970s, and ceasing production several years after that.

During World War II, Armstrong made 50-caliber round ammunition, wing tips for airplanes, cork sound insulation for submarines, and camouflage.

In 1952, a group of leading industrialists that included Alfred P. Sloan of General Motors, Frank W. Abrams of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, Henry Ford II of Ford Motor Company, John L. McCaffrey of International Harvester, Irving S. Olds of United States Steel Corporation, Henning W. Prentis of Armstrong Cork Company, and Laird Bell of Weyerhauser Timber formed the Council for Financial Aid to Education, which increased corporate gifts to colleges from $24 million annually to $136 million annually over ten years.

In 1958, Armstrong Cork Company created "Armstrong Contracting and Supply Corporation". Armstrong Cork had done insulation contracting since the early 20th century, originally focusing on cork products. Gradually, there was greater emphasis on high temperature insulation. In 1969, this business was sold in a leveraged buyout to 31 existing and retired employees of the contracting company, which became Irex Corporation.

C.U.E., Inc. started as the Polyurethane Division of Armstrong Cork in the 1960s. CUE comes from "Custom Urethane Elastomers" The Fluorocarbon Company of Anaheim, California bought the division in 1972. On April 7, 1986, a group of seven employees acquired the division, in a leveraged buyout.

In 1964, Armstrong bought Phoenix Chair Company, following up with Founders Furniture Company in 1965, Western Carolina Furniture Company in 1966, and both Thomasville Furniture and Caldwell Furniture in 1968. In the 1970s, they expanded with a low-end bedroom furniture line. They bought Gilliam Furniture in 1986, bought and repurposed the former Stehle polyester factory in Carysbrook, Virginia later that year, bought Westchester Group in 1987, and Gordon's in 1988; as well as making a major expansion to Thomasville that year.[citation needed] In 1995, Thomasville Furniture was sold to Interco (now Heritage Home Group), a leading furniture manufacturer, with such brands as Broyhill and Lane.[20]

Environmental record[edit]

Armstrong Holdings Inc. used to produce asbestos, either of two incombustible, chemical-resistant, fibrous mineral forms of impure magnesium silicate, used for fireproofing, electrical insulation, building materials, brake linings, and chemical filters,[21] before they started to manufacture interior furnishings. On November 16, 2000 it was reported that Armstrong Holdings Inc. was facing about 173,000 asbestos personal injury claims that would cost between $758.8 million and $1.36 billion through 2006. They filed bankruptcy because of all their asbestos liabilities.[22] Armstrong no longer produces asbestos and now makes vinyl and wood flooring and other interior furnishings.[23] Armstrong now claims "We offer you a proud heritage of innovation, commitment to environmental sustainability, and operations based on integrity, respect, diversity, continuous improvement, and a passion for safety."[24]

Manufacturing locations[edit]

ACProducts, Inc. is the seventh largest manufacturer and distributor of cabinets in the United States. The Company offers six wood species for its stock and semi-custom cabinets, including cherry, maple, oak, birch, plantation hardwood, and laminate/thermofoil, and serves over 3,000 customers through a network of 26 facilities consisting of ACP-branded showroom/selection centers, regional distribution centers, and warehouses, all in the United States. ACP is headquartered in The Colony, TX, with manufacturing operations in Thompsontown, PA. [25]

The company manufactures flooring products in the US in Beech Creek, Pennsylvania; Beverly, West Virginia; Center, Texas; Jackson, Mississippi; Jackson, Tennessee; Kankakee, Illinois; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Oneida, Tennessee; Somerset, Kentucky; South Gate, California; Statesville, North Carolina; Stillwater, Oklahoma; Warren, Arkansas; West Plains, Missouri; Titusville, Pennsylvania and internationally in Shanghai, China; Braeside, Victoria; Thomastown, Victoria; Teesside, England, and Holmsund, Sweden.

They produce ceiling products in the US in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania; Hilliard, Ohio; Macon, Georgia; Marietta, Pennsylvania; Mobile, Alabama; Pensacola, Florida; St. Helens, Oregon and internationally in Rankweil, Austria; Shanghai, China; Stafford, England; Thornaby, England; Team Valley, England; Pontarlier, France; Munster, Germany; St. Gallen, Switzerland and Zurich, Switzerland.

There are WAVE plants in Benton Harbor, Michigan; Henderson, Nevada; Aberdeen, Maryland; Shanghai, China; Prouvy, France; Team Valley, England and Madrid, Spain. WAVE is a joint venture with Worthington Industries.

There are ADE facilities in Dendermonde, Belgium; Waasmunster, Belgium; Bissingen, Germany; Delmenhorst, Germany and Waalwijk, Netherlands.

Criticism[edit]

On April 1, 2007, the Washington Post drew attention to Armstrong World Industries' wood purchasing practices from developing nations. Armstrong's Frank J. Ready, chief executive of Floor Products for North America, stated he didn't think there was a need for labelling or certification of lumber origins used in their products. The article mentioned that Armstrong is not participating in the Forest Stewardship Council certification system. The Post cited banned wood product, such as teak and merbau ending up in Armstrong's factories in China.[26]

On April 16, the Washington Post subsequently printed a correction: "An April 1 Page One article about illicit logging in Asia reported that Armstrong Floor Products of Pennsylvania sells flooring made from tropical merbau wood with a label typically saying it is made in the United States and without disclosing that the wood came from Southeast Asia. Armstrong's merbau flooring is actually made in Indonesia and labeled as such, and the company says it has taken steps to ensure the wood is harvested legally. Additionally, the article should have included a statement from Armstrong that 95.1 percent of the wood it uses in its products is grown in the United States and Canada."[27]

On April 16, 2007, the Washington Post printed a letter of response from Armstrong's CEO, Michael Lockhart. In his letter, Lockhart claims the newspaper "unfairly characterized Armstrong World Industries Inc.'s wood purchasing policies."

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Armstrong World Industries, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Feb 27, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Armstrong World Industries, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Oct 29, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Armstrong World Industries, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Nov 6, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Armstrong World Industries, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Oct 2, 2006". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 13, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Armstrong World Industries, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Aug 18, 2006". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 13, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Armstrong World Industries, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Dec 7, 2000". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Armstrong World Industries, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date May 3, 2007". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 13, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Armstrong World Industries, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Apr 3, 2007". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 13, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Armstrong World Industries, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Feb 15, 2007". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 13, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Armstrong World Industries, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jun 15, 1998". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 13, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Armstrong World Industries, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Feb 26, 2010". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Mehler WA. Let the Buyer Have Faith. The Story of Armstrong. Lancaster, PA: Armstrong World Industries, Inc.; 1987.
  13. ^ a b c http://infoweb.newsbank.com Armstrong's House—An Historic Mansion has Housed the Company’s Sales Trainees Since 1920. Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA). June 28, 1990
  14. ^ a b c d e f Becker GO. Armstrong Manor: General History. Written for the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County. August 24, 1990.
  15. ^ a b Smith JE. Rebuilding the Sales Staff: A Panel Session. Part II. Selection. Marketing Series No. 41. New York, NY: American Management Association; 1941:36–45.
  16. ^ http://lcapp1.co.lancaster.pa.us/aoweb/ParcelDetails.aspx?ParcelID=3901601000000%7C&searchType=propAdd&streetnum=2025&streetDir=&streetName=Lititz&streetSuffix Lancaster Country Property Report Card
  17. ^ http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/308335_Armstrong-to-cut-jobs--shut-Manor.html Armstrong to Cut Jobs, Shut Manor. Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster New Era
  18. ^ a b c http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/554461_Rodgers---Associates-buys-Armstrong-Manor.html Rodgers & Associates Buys Armstrong Manor. Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster New Era
  19. ^ http://rodgers-associates.com/rodgers-associates-moves-the-manor/ Rodgers & Associates Moves to the Manor
  20. ^ "Thomasville sale to Interco complete". Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  21. ^ asbestos - Definitions from Dictionary.com
  22. ^ Armstrong Holdings Gets Inquiries About WTC - Breaking News - ICS: Cleaning Specialist
  23. ^ November Pollution Review
  24. ^ Armstrong
  25. ^ http://www.americanindustrial.com/investments/currentinvestments/clientdetail?id=24
  26. ^ "Corruption Stains Timber Trade", Washington Post, 1 April 2007
  27. ^ "Correction to This Article", Washington Post, 16 April 2007

External links[edit]