Johns Manville has been developing building and mechanical insulation and materials for more than 150 years. The company employs more than 7,000 people across 44 manufacturing facilities throughout North America, China, and Europe. The company services more than 85 different countries and a variety of industries.
Although Johns Manville was known for being one of the foremost asbestos manufacturers in the early 1900s, resulting in thousands of claims as the harmful side effects were discovered, it has since changed its business model to safer alternatives and focuses on providing innovative solutions and a people-centric business model.
Johns Manville manufactures a variety of products for industries including aerospace, automotive, transportation, filtration, construction, commercial interiors, and more. Its products include mechanical and building insulation, commercial roofing, glass fibers, and non-woven materials for commercial, industrial, and residential applications.
The H.W. Johns-Manville Company was created in 1901 after the merger of two separate companies which specialized in asbestos for heating and insulation. The company was reincorporated as Johns-Manville Corporation in 1926 and it went public a year later.
The company continued to grow through the war, providing asbestos-containing insulation products to war products in addition to commercial, industrial, and residential buildings. The company entered the fiberglass business in 1958, and continued to acquire and refine the fiberglass business over the next few decades.
From the 1960s until it finally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1982, the company began to face massive lawsuits for the health hazards related to the asbestos the company installed during the first 50 years of its operation. When it filed for bankruptcy, it was the largest company to have ever done so.
In 1988, the company was reorganized and emerged from bankruptcy under the name Manville Corporation. Throughout the 90s, the company began to focus heavily on its fiberglass and forest products. After a brief attempt to change its name to Schuller Corporation, in 1997, the company name changed to Johns Manville Corporation.
The Johns Manville Corporation was purchased by Berkshire Hathaway in 2001 at the price of $13 per share. Under Warren Buffett’s company, the Johns Manville Corporation has continued to expand and innovate, introducing new non-woven products, roofing options, and more.