The purchase of Fyre-Tec steel window manufacturing company in Wayne was accomplished with the help of services provided by the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC).
Jason and Cheri Gehling are co-owners and run the daily operations of the 28-year-old company, whose 15 employees manufacture Fyre-Tec fire-rated steel windows, as well as Prime-Tec non-rated models, available as horizontal slider, vertical hung, fixed lite, projected or awning, and casement windows.
Jason Gehling says he had long been open to purchasing a business “if the right opportunity ever came along. I met the prior owner of FyreTec a few years back, and they notified me when they decided to put the company up for sale.”
Loren Kucera, director of the NBDC office at Wayne State College, began working with Gehling in early November 2018. “The bank called me asking that I put together a financing package so that Jason and his partners could purchase Fyre-Tec,” Kucera recalls. “I hosted a meeting and invited the client and his partners, along with representatives of various financing sources and the bank.”
With Gehling’s assistance, Kucera prepared cash flow projections and loan applications to various agencies. The final applications were presented in mid-January 2019. Ultimately, there were six different sources of financing, including the buyers’ equity injection.
Fyre-Tec’s steel window products are a culmination of innovative steel prime and fire resistant roll formed products. “Our business fills a tight but needed niche in the industry,” Gehling says. “We specialize in manufacturing premier fire-rated window assemblies that have all passed a series of tests performed by Underwriter Laboratories (UL). This provides our customer with both peace of mind and potentially a much safer building.”
Gehling says Fyre-Tec is dedicated to providing top quality products and working closely with code officials to develop and test new products that meet and exceed local, national and international fire codes. The company distributes its windows through a network of sales agents throughout the U.S. “We ship to all 50 states and Canada,” he says.
In 1991, the Fyre-Tec and Prime-Tec family of windows became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tekton, Inc. and the managerial, engineering and manufacturing facility were relocated to Wayne.
“Our company is very strong; very self-sustaining,” Gehling says. “Employee tenure here is exceptional. We have some employees who have been with the company more than 20 years, and many longer than 10 years.”
Still, not everyone in Wayne knew the company or its products, so the Gehlings hosted a “ribbon-cutting” open house at the facility in June and invited the community to take a look. “We did it as a celebration of the new ownership, and we had close to a couple of hundred people turn out,” Gehling says.
Kucera was one of those people at the ribbon-cutting, and Gehling says he appreciates the consultant’s continued interest in Fyre-Tec’s success.
“I spent 18 years in various jobs in the banking industry, but when it comes to buying and running your own business, there are a lot of ‘first times.’”
“Loren was instrumental in helping with the paperwork, letting us know what to think about when writing a business plan, and making us aware of various state resources,” Gehling says.
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The Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) helps Nebraska businesses start, grow and develop, by strengthening Nebraska businesses for a healthy economy and prosperous communities. NBDC is a University of Nebraska at Omaha center that provides confidential consulting business development services across Nebraska to entrepreneurs and business owners for the life cycle of their business. NBDC partners with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Wayne State College, and Chadron State College to deliver its services statewide. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the U.S. Department of Commerce (EDA), and other federal, state and private organizations support NBDC. Visit nbdc.unomaha.edu for more information.
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