Pursuant to the agreement signed on January 13, 2013, Saint-Gobain sold its entire stake in Verallia North America to the Ardagh group based on an enterprise value of US$ 1,694 million (€1,275 million*). The transaction will reduce the Group’s net debt by an estimated €925 million and follows the agreement reached with the US anti-trust authorities.
This sale is consistent with Saint-Gobain’s strategy of focusing on high-growth, high value-added markets in habitat and industry. The proceeds from the sale will primarily allow Saint-Gobain to strengthen its balance sheet, but also to continue with its selective acquisitions policy targeting small and mid-scale companies in high-growth countries and in North America, High-Performance Materials and core positions in Building Distribution.
Valley Forge, PA - Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, announces plans for a new, state-of-the-art North American corporate headquarters at 20 Moores Road in Malvern, PA, where it has signed a long-term lease for 320,000 square feet of space. The 65-acre Chester County campus, previously the headquarters for Aegon Group, will be transformed into a LEED-certified facility for Saint-Gobain and its North American construction materials subsidiary, CertainTeed Corporation – both of which are also currently headquartered in Valley Forge, Chester County. Saint-Gobain’s relocation will position the global building materials manufacturer for greater growth and expansion in North America. The redesign of the campus will be led by E. Kahn Development Corporation and J. Loew Associates in collaboration with AEGON Realty Advisors with construction expected to begin this month and be completed by fall 2015.
Taking full advantage of its extensive portfolio of building materials, Saint-Gobain believes the new headquarters’ dynamic design will deliver an energizing, sustainable work environment that will attract and retain top talent for years to come. The new campus will also, for the first time, allow the company’s local research team, currently based in Montgomery County, to be integrated with the company’s operations team on one site. In total, the relocation will bring approximately 120 additional employees to Chester County and raise the company’s total employee count at the new headquarters to more than 800. Saint-Gobain expects to accommodate future job growth and have the flexibility to relocate additional business units from its diverse portfolio to the integrated site in Malvern.
“This headquarters marks a step change in Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed’s ability to serve our North American markets, and it will be a shining example of a 21 st century manufacturing business,” said John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed Corporations. “With the building industry continuing to rebound, we’ve seized the opportunity to create a focal point for innovative design and development on the Eastern Seaboard, a place where our businesses and employees can continue to grow in a fully integrated, modern space that promotes collaboration across our business units, while offering significant room for future expansion.”
Founded in 1665 by French King Louis XIV in Paris, Saint-Gobain has been a leader of innovative building materials for nearly 350 years. According to Saint-Gobain, its new North American headquarters will set the stage for continued innovation for the next 50 years, creating a next-generation workplace that maximizes comfort and air quality through the use of a wide range of building material innovations from its own product portfolio, including materials from CertainTeed Corporation, SAGE Glass, Saint-Gobain ADFORS, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, and others from Saint-Gobain’s family of companies. At the same time, Saint-Gobain asserts that the installation of so many of its products will create a “living laboratory” where its research team can measure the impact its products have on a real workspace environment.
The exterior renovations and lobby of the new headquarters are being designed by Bernardon Haber Holloway with the interiors being designed by Jacobs. By leveraging the full range of Saint-Gobain’s portfolio of sustainable products and technologies, the headquarters is expected to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED ® Certification. The goal is to create a workplace that is energy-efficient, has superior air-quality and moisture management, and makes a material difference in the comfort and health of employees.
“This is a unique opportunity to work with one of the world’s premier construction materials leaders to create a transformative workplace experience,” said Eli Kahn, President of E. Kahn Development Corporation. “The depth of building science expertise and range of sustainable materials Saint-Gobain brings to this project will make it an icon among sustainable workplaces worldwide.”
Binswanger brokered the lease on behalf of Saint-Gobain. Over the course of a multi-year search, Binswanger worked with Saint-Gobain to identify locations for its new corporate headquarters. Ultimately, Saint-Gobain selected a suburban campus along the Philadelphia corridor that could provide integrated, mixed-use space with significant room for expansion. At the same time, the new Malvern campus remains accessible to the company’s expert employee base, many of whom reside in Chester and Montgomery Counties.
“At Saint-Gobain, collaboration is at the core of everything we have done and will do,” said Crowe. “As we approach the company’s 350 th anniversary, we will celebrate and strengthen our collaborative culture with a new headquarters that promotes greater employee interaction, demonstrates the power of our innovations and can serve as a home to the next generation of innovators.”