FHC Senior Vice President Barry Sutherland and President Chris Hanstad

FHC Senior Vice President Barry Sutherland and President Chris Hanstad

Call it the glass wars.

Frameless Hardware Co., a new glass industry supply company, officially opened its doors Nov. 1 in South Gate. The company’s two top executives each spent several years at the region’s premier glass industry supplier, C.R. Laurence Co. Inc., before leaving to form the new company.

FHC, the company’s preferred moniker, launched with 11 full-time employees and operates out of a 75,000-square-foot headquarters and warehouse building at 4361 Firestone Blvd. in South Gate.

Like C.R. Laurence, FHC will supply glass, glazing tools and supplies, hardware for shower doors, glass entrances and storefronts, and other glass fixtures to customers in various parts of the glazing industry.

Chris Hanstad, FHC’s president, spent 15 years at C.R. Laurence, most recently as the company’s vice president. In the announcement marking FHC’s launch, Hanstad said the new company is trying to provide competition in the glass supply industry.

“We are excited to provide the industry and its stakeholders with a new, trusted supplier — a partner that prioritizes the customer,” Hanstad said in the announcement. “Throughout the many consolidations that have taken place in the glass industry, the supply chain pool has become significantly smaller, and it’s ultimately the customers who have paid a price.”

FHC’s other top executive, Senior Vice President Barry Sutherland, spent 20 years at C.R. Laurence, most recently as director of commercial hardware.

C.R. Laurence was founded in 1961 and has grown into a global company with an estimated 1,600 employees. It placed No. 30 on the Business Journal’s most recent list of manufacturers, with 650 employees in L.A. County. In 2015, owner and Chief Executive Donald Friese sold the company to Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, a subsidiary of Dublin-based building products giant CRH Group, for $1.3 billion in cash.

In its launch announcement, FHC said it will emphasize online product ordering.

Frameless Hardware Co. executives declined further comment.

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