Yesterday, a delegation from Barranquilla-based architectural glass and aluminum products manufacturer Tecnoglass was present on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to ring the opening bell, after the company moved its listing from NASDAQ. The company still trades with the ticker symbol TGLS.
Brothers and co-founders José Manuel (CEO) and Christian Daes (COO) were present, along with a bevy of company top-brass, long-time factory floor employees, friends, family and media to celebrate the occasion, coming after announcing record-breaking quarterly and yearly results, and barely a quarter after the company was cleared of any wrongdoing or mismanagement by an independent investigation into nasty allegations made the previous year by short-sellers.
“It’s a group effort! It’s not only me, it’s everybody, but together we have done it and I’m very thankful for that.” – CEO José Manuel Daes
Tecnoglass COO Christian Daes feels vindicated by the company’s launch on the NYSE after successful runs on the BVC, Colombia’s stock exchange, and on NASDAQ in the US. Speaking with Finance Colombia, Daes said: “Here we are, in compliance with everything, a well-managed company, showing that the story is different. Even though there are some people interested in bringing the company down because that’s how they make money, we are here to stay!”
CFO Santiago Giraldo said that the move to the NYSE was a vindication of the company’s governance and stewardship. When Finance Colombia asked about the motivations for the change of exchanges, Giraldo replied: “Several reasons; more prestige and a broader audience. It’s a larger platform to get the company to be known to investors. They provide a market maker, which is somebody that is actively making sure your stock is being bought or sold depending upon what the market is doing. So that provides better liquidity for the stock. And then at the end of the day we figured it was a way to continue the company’s evolution on its growth into a larger market, a broader audience.”
The company has grown into a multinational manufacturing powerhouse, but came from humble beginnings. The two brothers originally launched a small business to make solar powered ovens on Colombia’s sunny Caribbean coast, but the company struggled as the petroleum exporting country developed a domestic network distributing inexpensive, plentiful natural gas. The company pivoted to architectural glass but had to overcome many obstacles to become the high-growth employer of over 5,000 that it is today.
When asked by Finance Colombia if he saw himself ringing the bell on the NYSE one day, CEO and co-founder José Manuel Daes responded: “No, it was impossible to imagine that. But I love to dream. I love to read, and I saw all the companies that were working in the US and in the exchanges, in the Dow Jones, but I never imagined it. I’m happy to be here. It’s amazing what you can accomplish…well, it’s a group effort! It’s not only me, it’s everybody, but together we have done it and I’m very thankful for that.”
Last year when Tecnoglass was invited to ring NASDAQ’s bell a second time, they brought along long-time factory worker Armando Perea. This time Perea was present, but the bell-ringing honors went to the company’s Director of Quality, Diana Lohrer, a 26-year employee of the company.
Tecnoglass Inc. is Colombia’s leading producer and exporter of architectural glass, windows, and associated aluminum products serving the multi-family, single-family and commercial end markets. Tecnoglass is the second largest glass fabricator serving the U.S. and the #1 architectural glass transformation company in Latin America. Located in Barranquilla, the company’s 3.5 million square foot manufacturing complex supplies over 1,000 global customers, with the U.S. accounting for more than 90% of revenues.
Tecnoglass and its subsidiary E.S. Windows’ built-to-order, high-end products are found on some of the world’s most distinctive properties, including One Thousand Museum (Miami), Paramount (Miami), Salesforce Tower (San Francisco), Via 57 West (NY), Hub50House (Boston), Aeropuerto Internacional El Dorado (Bogotá), One Plaza (Medellín), and the Pabellón de Cristal (Barranquilla) along with many others.