Steves & Sons Wins Antitrust Decision As Federal Judge Orders JELD-WEN to Divest Towanda Plant To Restore Marketplace Competition

SAN ANTONIO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In a major antitrust decision, San Antonio-based door manufacturer
Steves & Sons, Inc. (www.StevesDoors.com),
today, won an order of divestiture against JELD-WEN, Inc., a
wholly-owned subsidiary of JELD-WEN Holding, Inc. (NYSE: JELD), in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia,
Richmond Division. JELD-WEN will be required to sell its doorskin plant
in Towanda, Pennsylvania, under terms and conditions established by the
Court. Judge Robert E. Payne’s decision is designed to restore
competition in the marketplace.


Doorskins are a critical component used in manufacturing interior doors,
which is the primary business of Steves & Sons.

The Towanda facility in Pennsylvania was originally part of
International Paper and was sold to Premdor in 2000. In 2002, the US
Department of Justice forced Premdor to divest the facility, and it was
ultimately purchased by CraftMaster (CMI). The scale of the Towanda
plant is significant, with its capacity making it the second largest
doorskin facility in the world.

On February 15, 2018, a nine-person jury unanimously agreed with Steves
that JELD-WEN’s acquisition of its former competitor, CMI, violated
federal antitrust law, specifically the Clayton Act, by substantially
reducing competition in the U.S. market for interior molded doorskins.
The jury awarded Steves $12 million in past damages, plus $46.6 million
in future lost profits, which is automatically trebled under the
antitrust law for a total of $175.8 Million. The verdict also entitled
Steves to recover its substantial attorneys’ fees, litigation expenses
and interest. The jury additionally sided with Steves in finding that
JELD-WEN had breached its long term doorskin supply agreement with
Steves.

Subsequently, in April 2018, the Court held a multi-day hearing to
consider whether to impose equitable remedies designed to restore
competition in the doorskins market. At the hearing, Steves sought an
order of divestiture that would require JELD-WEN to sell the doorskin
plant in Towanda, Pennsylvania that it acquired as part of its unlawful
acquisition of CMI. Steves argued that an order of divestiture would
restore competition in the U.S. market for doorskins, to the benefit of
competition and independent door manufacturers.

On page 74 of his opinion, Judge Payne wrote “…the Court finds that
JELD-WEN’s conduct toward Steves shows that JELD-WEN regarded Steves, a
significant player in the interior door market, to be an independent to
be killed off.”

On that same page, he described JELD-WEN’s conduct toward Steves as
“evasive, sharp, and deceptive” and referred to its “general bullying
conduct toward Steves.”

Marvin G. Pipkin, attorney for Steves, said, “JELD-WEN couldn’t refute
Steves’ claims that JELD-WEN deliberately attempted to freeze Steves out
of the door business by controlling the means of doorskin production,
subverting a long-term contract with Steves and lowering the quality of
product it sold to Steves. They didn’t fool the jury and they didn’t
fool the judge. The inherent value of competition was reaffirmed by the
American justice system.”

“This decision is great news for our company, our industry and for
competition in the American marketplace,” said Sam Bell Steves II,
President of Steves & Sons. “For Steves & Sons, it clears the way
forward for us to continue serving our customers with the quality
products and attention to detail that have marked the success of this
family-owned company since our founding in 1866.”

Edward G. Steves, CEO of Steves & Sons, said, “After divestiture,
Towanda could ensure a continual source of molded doorskins for the
foreseeable future. The future is bright for Steves & Sons and the 1,100
people who work with us.”

About Steves & Sons

With interior and exterior door plants in San Antonio, and interior door
plants in Richmond, Virginia and Lebanon, Tennessee, Steves & Sons
employs more than 1,100 associates. The company continues to build its
business and reputation among builders and homeowners across the country
with continued emphasis on quality materials, new technology and
efficient distribution.

Contacts

Pipkin & Kloppe-Orton, L.L.P.
Marvin Pipkin, 210-213-3378
mpipkin@pipkinlawsatx.com

leverton

I have been involved with publishing and marketing for the past 32 years. My passion is helping people share their voice. I am able to do this through two important venues: One, with Area-Info.net where people can share everything from opinions to events to news. It is your choice! What do you want to share? Two, through a new program called America's Real Deal I am involved with to help business owners get their voice heard.I schedule speaking engagements with community groups and business groups to share my passion about the importance of "sharing your voice".Contact me directly at lee@leeeverton.com for scheduling information.