CEI Stories

Serving & supporting small business owners just like you.


July 01, 2016

Viracon, Inc.

Owatonna, MN

When it comes to architectural design, glass is big, and it’s only getting bigger. Many of North America’s new skyscrapers, airports, and hotels feature walls of specially-manufactured architectural glass, much of which has been manufactured by one company—Viracon, Inc. (Viracon). Viracon, a subsidiary of Apogee Enterprises, Inc., has been manufacturing high-performance glass in three locations across the US in Minnesota, Georgia and Utah. However, as designers dreamed of bigger windows, Viracon found themselves limited by their equipment, and losing market share to foreign competitors with oversize capabilities.

To recapture that market share, Viracon sought to expand their manufacturing capabilities in order to meet changing market demand. But making oversized glass doesn’t come with a small price tag, and Viracon had to fund both the new facility construction and over $33 million in new equipment. As a subsidiary of a large public company, expansions like the one proposed by Viracon are extensively reviewed and a number of other options, including moving the expansion internationally for more favorable economic conditions, were considered.

Viracon Plant Tour

Thanks to the flexible and affordable private capital  provided through the New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) Program through CEI Capital Management LLC (CCML), Viracon will be able to expand at their corporate campus in Owatonna, Minnesota, which is projected to create 80 new full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs over three years, as well as support the 1,300 other employees housed at the Owatonna, MN facility, where Viracon is the second largest employer in the city.

Many of the new positions are available to high school graduates, who receive comprehensive job training, as well as the opportunity to attend a community college to obtain an associates degree, 100% paid for by Viracon. Though many of these positions are entry-level, all of the new positions pay more than area living wage for a single adult.

CCML allocated $15 Million in NMTC capacity to help finance the project. Wells Fargo Bank, NA provided an additional $3 Million in NMTC allocation, as well as the NMTC equity, while Apogee Enterprises, Inc. provided the debt financing for the transaction which closed June 23, 2016.

* Unless otherwise noted, all jobs data contained herein is taken directly from the Transactional Level Reports submitted by CCML to the US Treasury’s CDFI Fund.  All jobs data is reported by the project Borrower and is not independently verified by CCML.

Project Facts:

CCML FINANCING: $15,000,000
OTHER CDES: Wells Fargo Bank, NA

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