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June 10, 2015

Tecnoglass: like tempered glass

Tecnoglass is one of the leaders in the region in the business of window frames and is the only Colombian company whose shares are traded in the Nasdaq stock exchange. The company prepares to issue shares in Colombia.

Tecnoglass is one of the most emblematic companies from Barranquilla. For the last 30 years, since it was created and the plant was assembled, they began an expansion process, first at home and then globally.

Although they have gone through difficult situations like the construction decline in Colombia in the late 90s and the international crisis that began in 2008, these impasses have strengthened Technoglass. For example, the first crisis motivated output to international markets and developed a greater added value in their products adjusting to demands and requirements of international markets -like hurricane resistant glass-, especially for southern Florida, USA, and the second crisis diversified and expanded its product portfolio.

Today Tecnoglass exports to more than 30 destinations and serves great projects, not only in South America but also in other areas like New York, Hawaii, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Las Vegas. By 2014, according to figures from “5,000 Empresas de Dinero” Tecnoglass posted revenues of $ 250,000 million, a more than 25% increase compared to the previous years growth.

“We aim to have sales of more than US $ 500 million over the next five years. We have the best glass and aluminum technology in the hemisphere. In August we will inaugurate the new plant, with an investment of US $ 45 million, in a process that applies microscopic layer onto the glass surface by atomic layering that lets in light but not heat or cold and gives the glass insulating properties. It is a norm in the United States requires that all projects have thermal coating”, adds Daes.

A little over a year ago, Tecnoglass executed one of the most important moves in the stock market: It is the only colombian company that has been listed in Nasdaq, the second most liquid stock exchange in the world, where shares of the most innovative companies in sectors such as technology, renewable energy and even restaurants and fashion are traded.

For Daes, this decision “was a bad business for the family but a great deal for the company”. For years it entered the market in southern Florida and became one of the most important players in that area. However, that knowledge was not enough to reach other areas in the United States and other major projects. “The entry into Nasdaq gave us the credibility we needed in the market, we passed all the exams, we are regulated and the auditors make their reports on the company”, adds Daes.

Today 84% ownership of the company is held by Colombian partners and the rest are out int market. The value of the stock is at US$ 12 and when he came out it was at US $ 10. “We believe there is no reason to be less than US $ 20 when our competitors are trading at 10, 12, 14 times Ebitda, while we are at 4.5 times Ebitda. We are thinking of emmiting stocks in Colombia -announced Daes- where we believe we can have more movement, and we can make it available to local players, like pension funds. We have started the process to enter the Colombian Stock Exchange”.

While the subject of the Exchange is defined and advances are made in new products, Tecnoglass look forward to the European market and the Middle East.
They are studying two scenarios for that case: one, the logistics operation from Barranquilla to serve those destinations; and two, analyzing some companies in Europe to purchase. Quite a long-term bet.

Source: Tecnoglass, como un vidrio templado

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