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1980s – Debt Mounts

During the 1980s, the company purchased The Austin Company. A management-led group made a leveraged buyout offer to purchase the company stock. This initiated a hostile takeover attempt by the Wickes Company. A bidding war followed with the management led group prevailing with the help of Lafarge. At one time Lafarge owned 50.1 percent of the company.

Second line added at Medicine Lodge

Movable panels, Durasan and Duraform popular products. Gypsum wall panels faced with thin gauge steel for high impact areas, called Armor Wall, were used in construction of the Hoosier Dome in 1986.

Former Miss America – May Ann Mobley -- and Gary Collins promote company products in TV ads, including vinyl siding, pre-decorated gypsum panels, Durasan, Duraform.

October 31 – Harper Quarry – Acquired from Avalone Industries -- $3.4 million

Company closes its first plant, Clarence Center, which opened in 1925.
Glassworks in Memphis, TN, etched the names of all the servicemen and women who died or are missing in Vietnam for the Vietnam War Memorial.

December 31 – Robert Scifres retires as chairman of National Gypsum.

January 1 – John (Jack) Hayes elected the fifth chairman of National Gypsum Company. Edward J. Killian, president.

January 1 – Austin Company acquired through stock. An international design, engineering, and construction company, Austin had offices in 26 U.S. cities and 10 international locations.

Company sells its Mobile, AL insulation board and ceiling tile plant to Armstrong World Industries.

Company listed as 219 on the Fortune 500. Asbestos suits mounting (4500) from asbestos products and use of asbestos. Exchanged the cement business for 10% ownership of Lafarge.

November 25 – Management-led investor group, known as Aancor Holdings, Inc., initiated an offer to National Gypsum shareholders to purchase all shares. Initial offer was $41 per share in cash, $17 in debentures. The deal was valued at $1.1 billion. This initiated a bidding war for the company.

February – Company sells Binning's Building Products which produced aluminum windows and doors.

April 8– Hostile takeover attempt by Wickes Co. – 2 ½ week bidding war.

April 25 – To secure control of the company, the management group turned to Lafarge with an offer for partial ownership. With Lafarge's help, the company's management group ultimately prevailed, and the company became privately held, with Lafarge owning 32 percent of the stock in a $1.55 billion dollar deal. Four companies including Binswanger Glass and Binnings Building Products sold.

The company was operated by Aancor Holdings and included Gold Bond, American Olean, and The Austin Company, Gold Bond Building Products Division begins closing sales offices and adds second line to Tampa Plant.

Company reports first loss in 50 years – buyout and thwarting hostile takeover left $1.5 billion in debt. The company lost $3.4 million in first quarter, $8.4 million in second quarter. Asbestos suits mounting but covered by insurance at the time.

NGC and Lafarge swapped executives for two years.

Gridstone introduced – vinyl-faced gypsum panels for suspended ceiling grid.

Lafarge increases its stake in Aancor Holdings, acquiring an additional 19 percent of National Gypsum shares and giving Lafarge 50.1% ownership.

American Olean sold to Armstrong World Industries

November -- $23 million to modernize Pryor paper plant. $8 million to modernize Shoals

Peter Browning named president and CEO of Gold Bond Building Products Division