Former Efco CEO responds to buyout
On Aug. 28, Pella Corp., of Pella, Iowa, purchased Efco Corp. of Monett, Mo., for an undisclosed amount. On that same day, long-time Efco CEO and 33-year company veteran Chris Fuldner retired from the business his father co-founded in 1951.
Read a Q&A with Fuldner below about his and the company's futures.
In last week’s e-glass weekly, several Efco customers said they had some concerns about what’s going to change at Efco now that it’s a subsidiary of Pella. How do you respond to concerns such as these?
My response is simply that nothing will change at Efco, and they won’t see any difference at all. Pella is going to operate Efco as an independent subsidiary. Management stays in place, employees stay in place and the representatives in the field stay in place. That’s one of the beauties of the whole transaction—Efco is not broken apart.
How did Pella become the suitor for Efco?
We offered the company for sale about six to eight months ago. We went through a big process and talked to several people who were interested in buying us. Pella quickly rose to the top.
What stood out about Pella?
We picked Pella for a couple of reasons. One, they put a strong bid in for Efco. Two, they were going to keep us as Efco Corp. and allow us to operate fairly.
Were you surprised that a residential company bought Efco?
We weren’t surprised that there would be interest from a major residential player. … It seemed to make a lot of sense to us. One residential manufacturer would be interested in completing the circuit by adding a strong commercial player.
How did Efco employees respond to the announcement about the sale? We had all the employee meetings [Aug. 30]. They seemed very excited about it. Pella is another family owned company located in the Midwest with strong Midwestern values. They were also excited to learn that Pella has been named one of the 100 companies to work for [by Fortune magazine].
What’s next for you?
I’m retiring, or rather, unemployed for the moment. I’m going to do something else—try something at a much smaller scale. … In the meantime, I’ll be spending a lot of time with family. All of my kids live nearby, and we’re expecting our first grandchild. We’re all very excited.