Well-known full-service glass company Mr. Go-Glass has been sold to The Joy Companies, the holding company for BF Joy LLC, a veteran-owned small business based in Hyattsville, Md. BF Joy specializes in the installation, maintenance and rehabilitation of underground infrastructure. “This is not a strategic acquisition but a financial acquisition,” explains Doug Linderer, second generation outgoing owner of Mr. Go-Glass. “This solves my succession question.”
Linderer will remain as president of Go-Glass Joy, LLC, the newly formed corporate entity for Mr. Go-Glass for the near future. The deal closed on December 31, 2015.
“I will eventually be pulling out,” says Linderer. “At some point, I will lose my edge and I would rather facilitate a smooth transition with a new owner who will continue to add to the good things my father started and that I took from there. This is so we don’t miss a beat. I’m not going anywhere soon. They will know and I will know when it is time to completely step aside.”
Linderer says The Joy Companies will help improve Mr. Go-Glass’ processes and add more capital to the company. He sees this as a way to take the Mr. Go-Glass brand to the “next level.”
“Anytime there is change, there are concerns with that, but everyone is excited,” he says. “The transition process has been very smooth. The companies are culturally aligned and I’ve been impressed with their commitment to safety and quality. We will have more resources and our business is ready for a shot in the arm. They understand our workplace even if they don’t understand our industry at this point. I’m here to help teach them our industry and hang around as long as necessary. We have a lot of people depending on the new company and I wanted to ensure we did this right.”
Because Mr. Go-Glass is so diverse, Linderer said a large industry player would not have been a good fit. In addition to offering AGRR services, the flat glass segment also plays a big role in the business.
“We serve a variety of areas with a variety of conventional products and services, including mirrors, acrylic, shower doors, screens, small storefronts and more,” he said in an interview in early 2015 when his company was named as one of AGRR™ magazine’s Top Automotive Glass Retailers. The company has six locations serving the Delmarva Peninsula and beyond from Easton, Ocean Pines and Salisbury, Md. The company also serves Dover and Lewes, Del., and Accomac, Va. It has 40 employees and estimated annual AGRR sales are $7.7 million.
Speaking about the acquisition, Ken Joy, chairman of Joy Companies says, “We’re not a huge conglomerate, we’re a local, family-owned business. We’re not venture capitalists, we’re long term holders. We’ve been in business 99 years and we believe we need diversification to continue. As we did our due diligence, we found a really strong company [Mr. Go-Glass] with a strong management team in place. We don’t want something we have to go in and fix. Together we can help figure out how to grow. … We’re here to offer financial support and counsel, but Doug is still the president. We’re really excited about this. It’s been a year-long negotiation. We’ve acquired a company run by good, solid people.”
BF Joy was formed in 1917 as a coal hauling and feed-delivery company for residents in Washington, D.C. In 1925, the company began renting trucks to the Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) and the C&P Telephone Company (now Verizon). In 1946, the company installed underground conduit and manholes, an expertise that remains at the core of the company’s present operations, according to its website.
As a part of the Mr. Go-Glass deal, Brett Towers, who managed two locations for Go-Glass Corp., has been named vice president and chief operating officer of Go-Glass Joy, LLC.
“I’m grateful for the trust and confidence that the Joy organization has placed in me, and I look forward to serving our customers as we seek new opportunities and ways to grow the business,” says Towers.
Mr. Go-Glass was founded in 1982 by Larry Linderer, Doug’s father. It was then called Salisbury Glass Co., and based in Salisbury, Md., with five employees.
About a year after its foundation, Doug joined the business. The son purchased the business from his father in 1992 and renamed it and branded it under the Mr. Go-Glass moniker. And now the glass business will continue as a part of the Joy Companies.