Coast to Coast Sold to TKB Marketing; Belron US Motion Withdrawn in Case

Coast to Coast Auto Glass has been sold to TKB Marketing Inc., an Arizona-based company, according to company spokesperson Jigna Patel. The company noted in a court document filed in a case pending with Belron US that it was in negotiations to sell, and today Patel advised that the sale closed on Friday.

"We're definitely excited about expanding Coast to Coast and building on the markets that we already have," she told glassBYTEs.com™/AGRR magazine. "We are excited."

Patel declined to provide further details on the sale at press time.

In an affidavit filed in the Belron US case, Andy Baker, "managing member," notes that "an individual by the name of Dominic Riccobono has been involved with operating Coast to Coast on behalf of TKB for at least the past four months."

He also notes that TKB assumes "all responsibility for Coast to Coast in matters including, but not limited to, the hiring of Eugene Casole."

Coast to Coast's website currently says it is under construction. Riccobono filed a similar affidavit in the case to that of Baker, notarized in Maricopa County, Ariz.

At press time, glassBYTEs.com™/AGRR magazine had been unable to obtain further information on TKB, but found that Riccobono is listed as secretary/treasurer of Omega Auto Glass, a mobile business based in Chandler, Ariz., on the area Better Business Bureau's website. (CLICK HERE for more information on Omega.) He's also listed as a partner and the primary contact for Omega on Manta.com, a website that gathers information on small businesses across the nation. At press time, Riccobono was unavailable for comment.

The Belron US Case
In other news involving Coast to Coast, Belron US had filed a motion for preliminary injunction in the case it filed recently against Coast to Coast and former Belron US employee Eugene Casole. However, Belron US has withdrawn the motion, and the court has dismissed this as moot. Belron US alleges that Casole, a resident of Voorhees, N.J., previously worked with the company and, in September 2005, signed an employment agreement in which Casole is alleged to have agreed to "non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality provisions." The agreement was supposed to continue for one year following termination of Casole's employment, according to Belron US. The case was filed nearly three weeks ago in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

" … The parties have amicably resolved the issues that caused Belron to seek temporary restraints," wrote Robert V. Dell of Cozen O'Connor, the firm representing the Columbus, Ohio-based Belron US in the suit.

Inside Coast to Coast
Coast to Coast also reveals several details about its operations in these documents, including how it seeks customers, and, as part of the background provided, notes that it currently has operations in the states of Arizona, New York, Florida, Massachusetts and South Carolina."

"All of Coast to Coast's marketing is conducted through independent, unaffiliated third-party entities, who sell sales leads to Coast to Coast by directly contacting businesses, such as service stations, and individuals, through neighborhood canvassing," writes Jeffrey Chebot of Whiteman, Banks and Chebot LLC, representing Coast to Coast.

Chebot also points out that Coast to Coast is a customer of Belron, "to the extent of $30,000 to $40,000 per month in glass purchases."

According to court documents, Casole has been engaged as a paid consultant for the company since he responded to an advertisement for a position in August.

"Coast to Coast sought Casole's services based upon Casole's skills acquired as a manager of his own independent automotive glass installment facility for 20 years, even before Casole's affiliation with Belron or its predecessor/assignor Safelite Group Inc.," writes Chebot. Casole has been responsible for the areas of Massachusetts, New York and South Carolina, and is tasked with "ensuring that the appropriate number of installers are assigned to warehouses owned by Coast to Coast …," according to the company's recent brief.

Coast to Coast claims that Casole's duties are focused on installation and he "is not engaged by Coast to Coast to contact, solicit or recruit potential customers."

"Auto glass installation is a skill not proprietary to Belron and was acquired by Casole years before he was employed by Belron or its predecessor," writes Chebot, who goes on to add, "Any new skills [Casole] may have learned or developed while in [Belron US's] employ are those that any employee working in a market-driven, customer service oreiented business would have. There is nothing unique in such skills. There is no 'secret formula' to glass installation that Mr. Casole is used in handling operations for Coast to Coast, nor has plaintiff alleged any specific trade secrets meriting protection."

Belron US officials have declined to comment, since the case is still under review of the courts. Patel advised she could not comment on the case for the same reason.

CLICK HERE for full text of Coast to Coast brief.

Need more info and analysis about the issues?
CLICK HERE to subscribe to AGRR magazine.