ATME-I, IFAI Expo to align in 2006

Week of February 18, 2002

Other shows may join in ‘co-location’

By Devin Steele

At least one other textile-related trade show — and potentially several more — will run in conjunction with and at the same venue as the American Textile Machinery Exhibition-International (ATME-I®) event in 2006.

To be staged at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) in Atlanta, ATME-I will take place concurrently or on some overlapping dates as the Annual Exposition of Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI Expo), co-sponsors of the shows announced last week.

The initial organizations committed to this “MEGATEX” concept have met with and invited several producers of affinity exhibitions to join them. So organizers said they expect that additional co-located shows will be announced in the coming months.

Customer associations of these shows are also in various stages of considering alignment, anticipated to be a phased-in approach, they added.

The exhibitions will not be merged, but rather will be co-located at the GWCC, organizers said.

Other organizations that have been invited to consider holding trade shows concurrently include, but are not limited to, the American Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists (AATCC), the Knitted Textile Association (KTA) and The Hosiery Association (THA), according to officials.

This new and rapidly evolving arrangement has no effect on the next ATME-I show, scheduled to take place in 2004 at the Palmetto Expo Center in Greenville, SC, according to Harry W. “Buzz” Buzzerd Jr., president of the American Textile Machinery Association (ATMA), an ATME-I co-sponsor.

“Although the name ‘ATME-I’ will be used in 2004 in Greenville, the show product that’s developing for 2006 will have a new brand,” Buzzerd told STN during his group’s annual meeting this month. “It is going to be a totally different product, or basket of products. We don’t know what all the sub-titles will be yet, but it’s going to be a bigger umbrella than we’ve seen.

“And we truly hope that it will be products and services from field up to the point of retail.”

Textile Hall Corporation (THC), long-term co-sponsor of ATME-I with ATMA, will remain affiliated with the event after the 2004 event in Greenville, according to ATMA officials.

The concurrent presentations will take place no later than November 2006, the shows’ sponsors said.

The single-location, same-time presentations are intended to “maximize utility and reduce frequency of textile supplies-related shows in the United States and to create a key event of great magnitude for the Americas. The mass will benefit suppliers and buyers equally,” organizers said in making the announcement.

“It could well prove to be the most broadly based presentation of textile-related interests ever produced in the world,” Buzzerd said.

One of the key advantages of putting on similar events concurrently on the same site is that some exhibitors share customers from different sectors of the industry, Buzzerd said. Likewise, some textile-related manufacturers cross various markets.

“Some exhibitors will say, ‘well, I only have about 10 or 15 percent in a certain specialty area and I’ve never exhibited over there, but this will enable me to get to that market, in addition to my primary market,’ ” he said.

Companies exhibiting in more than one show will be greatly discounted for their second stand, which could be used as a small information booth in one show that directs traffic to their larger exhibit in another, Buzzerd suggested.

“Both sides, ATMA and IFAI, would like the exposure one to the other because we think both sides are going to benefit from new markets and new market opportunities,” added Kurt Scholler, ATMA chairman and CEO of American Truetzschler, Charlotte, NC.

The magnitude will not detract from traditional or established identities of the separate shows, Buzzerd said.

Other opinions

“The Industrial Fabrics Association International is extremely excited to be co-locating our annual IFAI Expo with the ATME-I show in 2006,” said Stephen M. Warner, CAE, president of IFAI.

“This is a unique opportunity for both organizations. Specialty fabrics is a dynamic industry, the only textile market segment that is projected to continue growing in North America.

“Co-locating ATME-I 2006 and IFAI Expo 2006 makes a lot of plain, good business sense. We broaden our market reach and expand our supply chain appeal. Both ATMA and IFAI welcome other trade associations involved in the specialty fabrics supply chain to consider co-locating in 2006 with us.”

Dan Graveline, GWCC executive director, confirmed the commitments and aspirations of the international venue.

“Atlanta is fully prepared and enthusiastically anticipates its ability to host what we are confident will be a huge, innovative and truly international textile industry event of events,” he said. “Our airport daily flight volume ranks among the top two in the world. Our close-in hotel capacity ranks among the largest in the world. Our exhibition and conference space will accommodate the demands of this unique multi-industry event. We are fully committed to the visions of ATMA, IFAI, and their allies.”

Officials with INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, are also discussing possibilities with ATMA and IFAI, according to Ted Wirtz, president.

“I am really comfortable with the concept,” he said. “I believe in strategic alliances among associations, particularly when the associations have similar constituent bases and proven experience in conference and show production. ATMA and IFAI certainly meet our alliance criteria.

“Alliances of this type are proven to be cost beneficial, service enhancing and business generating to common industries, suppliers and members alike. The consolidation has much appeal to us and we are pleased to be discussing these potentials with the initiators.”

According to Jack Daniels, executive director of American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), the proliferation of textile trade shows may be drawing off attendance at his group’s annual International Conference and Exhibition (IC&E).

“If the concept of co-locating with other textile events would help grow attendance at IC&E and make it easier for participants to attend our activities, as well as those of the other shows, we would have an open mind for further discussions,” he said.

For global and regional suppliers alike, the efficiencies and cost benefits are superior to past practices of multiple and separate events competing for marketing dollars and time of supplier companies, domestically and globally, according to officials with ATMA and IFAI.

“Having already announced the unification of ATME-Is in Atlanta from October 30 to November 3, 2006, we have created the largest textile machinery presentation of the Americas,” Scholler said. “There will be co-location of IFAI and ATMA and we are certain there are more textile-related events that will follow suit. Unification in the field of textile shows is now under way.”

Advisory committee

A customer advisory committee is being formed to maximize the utilities and benefits of the co-location, to include recognition of various segment differences by process and product, Buzzerd said.

He listed examples of organizations being approached or to be approached include, but are not limited to: the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI), the National Cotton Council of America (NCC), the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA), the American Yarn Spinners Association (AYSA), the Northern Textile Association (NTA) and other members of the American Textile Alliance, which embraces state and regional associations.

“Co-locating related textile exhibitors at one show site will benefit attendees greatly, especially as the U.S. textile industry continues to cut costs,” said Carlos Moore, executive vice president of ATMI. The leadership of ATMA and IFAI should be commended for moving aggressively to assist exhibitors and attendees through their cooperative efforts.”

Buzzerd added: “Some time ago, ATMA announced its recognition that ATME-I required more internationalization techniques, new management approaches and venue change. That process is now occurring, cognizant of some necessary transition steps, mindful of realities of world show cycles as well as those of U.S. show sponsors.”

Paul T. O’Day, president of the AFMA, lauded efforts of Scholler and Buzzerd on their initiative to co-locate related machinery shows in a single coordinated show. “The move of this ambitious undertaking to the Georgia World Congress Center will assist the industry’s entire customer base to effectively and efficiently review and evaluate new technology as it comes to the marketplace,” he said.

The last IFAI show, which took place in Nashville in October, drew more than 5,800 visitors from 45 countries and featured nearly 450 booths.

Attendance sagged during the last cycle of the two-leg ATME-I, which took place in Oct. 2000 and April 2001. Last summer, organizers voted to consolidate the show into one event.

Co-sponsors were contractually obligated to hold the next ATME-I show in Greenville again in 2004. They chose 2006 to stage the show after that because a large number of shows were scheduled for 2005 and years subsequent to 2006, Buzzerd said.

Incidentally, Scholler reported, exhibitor registration for the 2004 ATME-I is “well ahead of expectations.” Though the 2004 and 2006 editions will be different in nature, they both have great potential, he said.

“We hope both shows will be very successful,” he said. “There’s no law that says one of them has to be failure, but they will be not resemble one another.”

Musharraf visit

Week of February 18, 2002

Scaled-back Pak package still ‘will hurt’

From staff reports

WASHINGTON — Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf left Washington last week with a White House commitment of $426 million in apparel quota increases over the next three years.

That package is far less than what Musharraf was seeking to aid his country’s textile and apparel industry, but much more than the domestic textile industry had hoped for.

Musharraf, who met with President Bush at the White House Wednesday, had hoped to gain trade concessions worth more than $1.6 billion as a reward for his country’s support of the U.S.-led war on terrorism. Part of his wish list included a suspension of U.S. tariffs and quotas on Pakistani textile and apparel products over the next two years.

The administration’s scaled-back package, however, allows Pakistan to shift unfilled quotas to boost apparel shipments and increase “base” quotas on certain products. Over the next year, Pakistan will be able to ship more than $142 million worth of apparel products to the U.S.

The American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) reacted negatively to the deal.

“We are disappointed that Pakistan will be given unwarranted concessions at the expense of U.S. textile production and jobs,” said Charles A. Hayes, ATMI president and chairman of Guilford Mills, Greensboro, NC. “Make no mistake — this will hurt American textile companies and American textile workers at a time when we are already experiencing our worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

Also disappointed in the deal were Pakistani groups, who had lobbied for much larger concessions.

Specifically, the deal includes:

• apparel quota increases of 15 percent in the base levels of seven categories, including woven gloves; men’s and boys’ coats; women’s and girls’ woven blouses; pajamas and other nightwear; manmade fiber knit shirts and blouses; and manmade fiber trousers. Also, these categories can be boosted by shifting up to 25 percent of unused quota from textile (non-apparel) categories;

• an quota increase of 8 percent in exports of men’s and boys’ cotton knit shirts, women’s and girls’ cotton knit blouses and cotton trousers, to be borrowed from unfilled textile categories; and

• an increase of 25 quota percent in exports of underwear and men’s and boys’ woven shirts, also to be borrowed form unfilled textile categories.

President Bush had initially hoped to give Pakistan a broader range of textile-trade relief, but textile-state lawmakers had threatened to vote against trade promotion authority if that occurred. The measure passed the House by one vote in December after concessions aimed at helping the U.S. textile industry were made.

Lawmakers from textile-producing states have since put pressure on the Administration to deny access of more Pakistan goods, which they said would further erode the domestic textile industry.

In a letter to Commerce Secretary Don Evans dated Feb. 1, the senators said, “any agreement to construct an aid package to Pakistan that adversely impacts an ailing U.S. industry is directly contrary to both Administration policy and common sense.”

The letter was signed by Sens. Ernest Hollings (D-SC), Jesse Helms (R-NC), John Warner (R-VA), Strom Thurmond (R-SC), George Allen (R-VA), Zell Miller (D-GA), John Edwards (D-NC), Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Max Cleland (D-GA).

Another letter to Evans dated Feb. 4 expressing similar sentiments was signed by members of Congress from textile-producing states.

Unilateral liberalization of Pakistan’s quota is “inconsistent with the principles set forth by the Administration upon initiating the new round of multilateral trade talks in Doha,” the letter stated. “At that time, the Administration indicated that it would not liberalize the Uruguay Round quota and tariff phase schedules in the textile sector.

“Swift abandonment of this principle will set a disastrous precedent for other suppliers in the region, as countries like India and Turkey predictably will demand similar treatment.”

That letter included the signatures of Robin Hayes (R-NC), Jim DeMint (R-SC), Sue Myrick (R-NC), Cass Ballenger (R-NC), Richard Burr (R-NC), Howard Coble (R-NC), Charlie Norwood (R-GA), Virgil Goode (I-VA), Mac Collins (R-GA) and Nathan Deal (R-GA).

Helped or hurt?

The Pakistan Textile & Apparel Group, which represents Pakistani textile and clothing manufacturers as well as buyers for U.S companies that import goods from Pakistan, has said that textile and apparel exports have sharply declined since Sept. 11. House members wrote, however, that “textile and apparel exports to the U.S. from Pakistan have actually increased during that period (since Sept. 11).”

ATMI agreed, saying in a release that Pakistani production and exports have not been adversely affected by the conflict in Afghanistan. Further, Pakistan has already benefited from substantial changes in the textile quotas and tariffs it faced since the war on terrorism began, ATMI added.

“In light of this information, and particularly given the troubled state of the U.S. textile industry, we believe that the United States should have granted Pakistan only broad-based assistance, the cost of which is shared by all Americans,” ATMI said. “It should not have singled out American textile manufacturers and American textile workers for bearing the sole burden of an important component of the package.

“Alternatives that would have helped Pakistan without harming the U.S. textile industry were provided to the government, but were not accepted.”

Among those alternatives, ATMI had urged the government to use the U.S. Agency for International Development (U.S. AID) to make up any drop-offs that might occur in Pakistan’s exports of textiles and apparel to the United States by placing compensating orders with Pakistani manufacturers. The items purchased by U.S. AID could then be distributed to Afghan refugees, it said.

“This proposal would not harm U.S. textile workers and would be a significant gesture of goodwill to the people of Afghanistan,” said Carlos Moore, executive vice president of ATMI.

All told, in 2001, Pakistan surpassed Mexico to become the largest supplier of cotton textile and apparel products to the United States, ATMI said. Pakistan now exports nearly 2 billion square meters of textile and apparel products a year to the United States, the organization added.

In addition, ATMI noted that Pakistan has been able to triple its textile and apparel exports to the United States since 1996, largely because the value of the rupee has fallen 47 percent against the dollar. Since 1994, the United States has boosted Pakistan’s quotas by 83 percent as required by the World Trade Organization (WTO), giving Pakistan significantly increased access to the U.S. market.

In addition to textile trade concessions, Pakistan has reportedly already received nearly $2 billion in new aid from the U.S. government in the past five months, the group noted.

ATMI also thanked supporters in Congress who fought to keep the Administration from granting Pakistan’s request for massive textile and apparel quota elimination and duty reductions. “This aid package certainly could have been far worse if not for their efforts,” the organization said.

DuPont

Week of February 18, 2002

DuPont to shed fiber businesses

WILMINGTON, DE — Coming to grips with “rapidly changing industry dynamics and tough market realities,” DuPont Co. said it plans to get out of the fiber business by the end of next year.

The chemicals giant said Monday it intends to sell or spin off its core nylon, polyester and Lycra businesses as a means of “taking the next step in its transformation to a sustainable growth company.”

In the interim, DuPont has created a Textiles and Interiors subsidiary, which will include the nylon fibers, polyester fibers and Lycra brand fiber businesses, plus its intermediates and joint ventures. DuPont will consider a full range of options for the unit, including an Initial Public Offering (IPO), with the intent of separation by the end of next year, market conditions permitting.

“A company can operate successfully for 200 years only by continually reinventing itself,” said DuPont Chairman and CEO Charles O. Holliday Jr. “DuPont people in all of our businesses know this is key to a strong future. Each of the five growth platforms has the critical mass to pursue our strategies of integrated science, knowledge intensity and productivity improvement while capitalizing on strong market positions, quality products and powerful brands.

“At the same time, our new Textiles & Interiors subsidiary will have the scale, global reach and flexibility to be highly successful in an industry undergoing fundamental structural change.”

The company said it would reorganize the rest of the company into five units: DuPont Electronic & Communication Technologies; DuPont Performance Materials; DuPont Coatings & Color Technologies; DuPont Safety & Protection; and DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition.

“Consistent with our long-term strategy and direction, our growth platforms will be more tightly focused on markets and technologies. This will enable faster execution and improved capability for innovation and shareholder value creation,” Holliday said.

DuPont Textiles & Interiors will be the world’s largest integrated fibers company, with annual segment sales estimated at $6.5 billion. This represents about 23 percent of 2001 total DuPont segment sales, which includes transfers and the company’s pro rata share of sales by equity affiliates.

The unit will be led by Richard R. Goodmanson, DuPont executive vice president and chief operating officer, and an experienced team, including Group Vice Presidents Steven R. McCracken and George F. MacCormack.

“Our nylon, polyester and Lycra businesses have played a very important role in DuPont for many decades,” Holliday said. “They have served our company, our shareholders and our customers extremely well. Now, with rapidly changing industry dynamics and tough market realities, we believe the course we have chosen is necessary to allow them to succeed in the future.”

Concurrent with these actions, DuPont said it will offset all residual costs from the separation of the DuPont Textiles & Interiors subsidiary by aggressively reducing its cost structure for corporate and support services. This effort will be led by W. Donald Johnson, group vice president of operations and services.

The company has engaged Morgan Stanley to assist in the evaluation process.

Briefs

Week of February 18, 2002

Wayne Mills buys Luithlen Dye Corp.

PHILADELPHIA — Wayne Mills Company, Inc. has signed an agreement to buy the assets, including the name, of Luithlen Dye Corporation.

Luithlen is a skein dyer of tape, webbing and hand knitting yarns. Wayne Mills has done business with the company for more than 75 years and is its largest customer, according to Franklin A. Milnes, Wayne Mills president.

The plant will continue to be operated at its present location, Milnes added.

Both companies are based here.

Douglass Wiegand, Luithlen president, will remain with the company for an unspecified period of time during the transition, Milnes added.

Wayne Mills, a subsidiary of Wayne Industries, manufacturers narrow fabrics, tapes and light webbings.

Berwick Weaving gets orders, stays open

BERWICK, PA — Berwick Weaving, a commission weaver of broadwoven specialty fabrics, is staying in business for the time being, thanks to some last-minute orders.

The company had warned employees that it could close if new orders did not come in. Those orders came after numerous phone calls were made to customers by Berwick officials, according to reports. The plant employs 44 people.

Ronile buys assets of Colormarks, Inc.

ROCKY MOUNT, VA — Ronile, Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of certain assets of Colormarks, Inc. a South Carolina corporation.

Colormarks competes directly with Ronile in the business of manufacturing and selling space-dyed yarn to the commercial carpet industry. Prior to the acquisition, Colormarks operated a production facility in Williston, SC, and generated annual sales in excess of $10 million.

Ronile said it did not buy the Williston facility and is moving the purchased assets to its plant here. Ronile plans to integrate the Colormarks’ business into Ronile’s existing operations, it said.

Following the acquisition, Colormarks ceased all operations and will no longer sell space-dyed yarns to the carpet industry. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Ronile has already seen an increase in orders at its Rocky Mount plant, according to Phillip C. Essig, CEO of Ronile.

“We are pleased that we were able to take advantage of this opportunity in today’s economy,” he said. “We are strong financially and believe that the current environment may provide additional opportunities. Colormarks has been a strong competitor for over a decade and has maintained a significant market share during that time.

“We expect business to increase significantly at our Rocky Mount plant over the next several months. As the economy rebounds and we fully consolidate the new business opportunities, we expect our business to be stronger than anticipated in 2002.”

Ronile, an employee-owned company, is a leading supplier of space-dyed yarns to the commercial carpet and other industries.

ExxonMobil Chemical plans to buy out AES

HOUSTON — Exxon-Mobil Chemical plans to become the owner of Advanced Elastomer Systems (AES) by acquiring Solutia, Inc.’s 50 percent interest in AES.

ExxonMobil Chemical and Solutia have signed a binding contract for the acquisition.

AES, formed in 1991, is a limited partnership between ExxonMobil Chemical and Solutia. Headquartered in Akron, OH, AES has annual sales of about $300 million and employs about 700 people worldwide.

“This acquisition demonstrates ExxonMobil Chemical’s commitment to having the broadest portfolio of polymers based upon ethylene and propylene serving a broad range of markets,” said Jim Harris, senior vice president of polymers, ExxonMobil. “We are very pleased, as AES is the premier engineered thermoplastic elastomer business well known for the quality of its products and customer service.”

Meryl yarns used in ski team’s attire

GREENSBORO, NC — Members of the Austrian ski team are wearing Anzi Besson garments made with Meryl yarns during their competitions in the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

The Meryl family of yarns is known for creating garments that offer excellent moisture management, extreme lightness for greater comfort and freedom of movement, incredible strength and wind and water resistance, as well as exceptional ultraviolet protection, according to Nylstar North America, the producer of Meryl yarns.

NAFTA yarn price report offered by GLOBECOT

NASHVILLE, TN — One of the most vital and volatile segments of the NAFTA economy — textile yarn prices — now has a new barometer: the NAFTA Yarn Price Indices found exclusively on the GLOBECOT News Network.

The indices represent actual transactions in the NAFTA countries for yarns in all major end-use markets. Prices are updated weekly and available at www.globecot.com.

“Our indices are the world’s only accurate and current guides to prices of yarns in this market,” said GLOBECOT CEO Ed Jernigan. “We believe this data will prove to be an invaluable tool for any company buying, selling or trading yarns in North America.”

The indices appear in GLOBECOT’s on-line newsletter “NAFTA Yarn Week.” The newsletter, edited by industry veteran and GLOBECOT COO Josh Hamilton, is one of the company’s e-intelligence series of in-depth global industry analysis. Complimentary subscriptions to NAFTA Yarn Week are available by sending e-mail to jthamilt@aol.com.

Closings roundup

Week of February 18, 2002

Beacon shutting NC operation

SWANNANOA, NC — Beacon Blankets plans to shut down its plant here and consolidate some of those operations into its facility in Westminster, SC.

The closing, which will affect about 300 people, comes just five months after the company was bought from Pillowtex Corp. by a group of investors headed by Asheville, NC, investor John Kuklenski.

The shutdown is expected to occur by April 15, according to company officials.

Demand for acrylic blankets made at the plant here has declined, while orders for cotton blankets produced at the Westminster operation have remained steady, Don Koppenhaver, the company’s human resources director, told The Asheville Citizen-Times.

Company headquarters will remain here while Beacon seeks a buyer for the plant, which covers more than 1 million square feet of space.

Beacon Manufacturing Co. was founded in 1904 in New Bedford, MA, and the company opened a site here in 1925.

Coats NA shutting Connecticut plant

WINSTED, CT — Coats North America will close its 45-year-old specialty thread manufacturing plant here, putting about 35 employees out of work.

Some of the work will be moved into the company’s newer plant in Watertown, CT, along with plants in Marion, NC, the Bronx, NY, and Arthur, Ont., Canada. Some employees will be offered jobs at the Watertown operation.

The plant makes Danfield thread, which is sold to mattress and bedding manufacturers worldwide. The closure is scheduled for April 6.

Brown Wooten putting 600-plus out of work

Sock maker Brown Wooten Mills said it is closing a manufacturing plant in Mount Airy, NC, and a distribution center in Burlington, NC.

More than 600 people will lose their jobs as a result of the closings, which will occur over the next few weeks.

The company makes men’s and women’s socks for St. John’s Bay, Cherokee and Route 66 brands.

Yarn company agreements

Week of February 18, 2002

Unifi, AF&Y enter texturizing deal

GREENSBORO, NC — Unifi Inc. and American Fibers and Yarns Company announced that they have entered into an exclusive agreement designating Unifi as commissioned false twist texturizer of AF&Y polypropylene.

Under the agreement, American Fibers and Yarns will supply Unifi with polypropylene feeder yarn, which Unifi will texturize and return to AF&Y for sales and distribution to the home furnishings and contract upholstery markets. In addition, AF&Y will supply polypropylene feeder yarn for Unifi to texturize and sell into many of Unifi’s core markets.

The immediate impact of this agreement is a significant increase in available capacity of high-quality false twist textured polypropylene to the marketplace, according to the companies.

Mike Apperson, president of American Fibers and Yarns Company, said the agreement with Unifi will be beneficial to both companies and their customers.

“This partnership with Unifi combines the technology, knowledge and experience of both companies to allow us to supply high-quality, textured polypropylene to our customers,” Apperson said. “American Fibers and Yarns is known for the quality and consistency of its polypropylene feeder yarn, and Unifi if known for its state-of-the-art texturing operations. We believe we can provide our customers with a competitive advantage as a result of this agreement.”

The agreement supports Unifi’s strategy of increasing its breadth and depth of product offerings to its diverse customer base, said Alf Webster, president of Unifi North America.

“Our ability to provide high-quality, value-added products and superior service to a wide range of markets has been the key to our continuing strength and success,” Webster said. “This agreement provides us with expanded access to a high-growth fiber category with unlimited capital infusion.”

AF&Y moving

In other news related to American Fibers and Yarns Company, the company said it will relocating its corporate headquarters and sales and marketing offices to Chapel Hill, NC.

Its headquarters is currently based in Cumming, GA, with sales and marketing offices in Greenville, SC. Personnel from both locations will be relocating. Additional support personnel will be hired locally.

“Chapel Hill is a location in close proximity to the majority of our Southeastern customer base,” said Apperson. “The ability to respond quickly to customer needs is increasingly important as the home furnishings business becomes more complex and requires immediate critical issue resolution.

“Being geographically closer to the customer base will facilitate the integration of our business processes with those of our customers. In addition, the move will put key personnel closer to our manufacturing sites.”

American Fibers and Yarns Company was formed in 1999 as a spin off of BP/Amoco and supplies filament yarn to the upholstery, apparel, automotive and industrial markets.

Nat. Spinning buys G. Raven plant

WASHINGTON, NC — National Spinning Co., Inc. and Glen Raven, Inc. have announced another transaction between the two companies.

National Spinning, based here, has bought a yarn manufacturing facility in Kinston, NC, from Glen Raven, the companies announced Feb. 8. The deal will complete Glen Raven’s exit from the sales yarn business while enhancing National’s stake in the trade.

The purchase of the facility from Glen Raven includes the building and land of the Kinston operation. The business associated with the facility will be transferred to National Spinning.

In November, National bought Glen Raven’s open-end spinning and package-dyeing businesses, both of which operate in two plants in Alamance County, NC. With that deal, about 250 people were added to National’s 1,600 employees.

National Spinning cut about 80 positions at the Kinston plant after the deal went through, but those displaced employees were offered jobs at other North Carolina plants, including those in nearby Warsaw and Beaulaville, according to James Chesnutt, president and CEO. A little more than 100 people will remain at the plant, he added.

The companies, both privately owned, have entered into confidentiality agreements concerning the arrangement. Terms of the sale are not being released at this time, according to the companies.

“We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with Glen Raven,” Chesnutt said. “The Kinston facility will be a welcome addition to our company as we continue to aggressively pursue the sales yarn business by offering our customers a wide array of high-quality products.”

National Spinning Co., Inc. is the leading supplier of acrylic sales yarn in the industry. The company’s primary business is its high-quality dyed yarns and specialty spun yarns for the apparel, home furnishings, industrial, hosiery and craft markets, through its Caron International Division. National Spinning operates seven facilities in the Southeast.

“The Kinston plant has served Glen Raven well over the years,” said Allen E. Gant Jr., president and CEO of Glen Raven. “As this industry continues to consolidate it is important to stay focused on our core competence. National Spinning is solely committed to the yarn business, which fits with Kinston’s capabilities.”

Thought exiting the sales yarn business, Glen Raven will continue to service and seek to expand its global fabric strategy, concentrating on fabrics for the home furnishings, industrial and automotive markets, such as its Sunbrella®, Microsuede™ Dickson®, and Sun Sharp® brand fabrics, Gant said.

Glen Raven is a highly diversified textile marketing, sales and manufacturing company producing fabric for the awning, marine, casual furniture, industrial fabrics, apparel fabrics and automotive fabric markets through various subsidiaries with manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe. The company is headquartered in Glen Raven, NC.

Thomas L. Temple, Brookwood Associates, Inc, Investment Bankers, of Charlotte, NC, assisted National Spinning with the transaction.

Quaker Fabric Corp.

Week of February 18, 2002

Quaker sets mark, eyes new market

FALL RIVER, MA — In announcing record sales for the year, Quaker Fabric Corp. said it will step up its move into the decorative top-of-the-bed market.

The company’s 2002 capital expenditure plan calls for Quaker to invest $31 million toward objectives in the top-of-the-bed area, according to Larry Liebenow, president. These initiatives include adding a significant number of looms, including wide-width looms, to its manufacturing base.

Quaker, which specializes in the manufacture of woven upholstery fabrics, said it plans to begin construction at a 60-acre manufacturing site it owns and to invest in its information technology area and in new yarn and finishing equipment.

“... all of which, when you think about it, shows exactly how excited we are about this company’s future and its ability to create long- term value for its shareholders,” Liebenow said.

For the year, the company registered record sales of $331 million, an increase of $28 million, and earned $9.5 million, or 58 cents per share. Earnings figures were down slightly, from $10.9 million, or 68 cents.

Sales in the fourth quarter were up 15 percent, to $12 million, while earnings came in at $3.1 million, or 19 cents per share. The company made $2.9 million, or 18 cents, for the same period last year.

Showing signs of life

Week of February 18, 2002

WestPoint Stevens rounding corner?

WEST POINT, GA — WestPoint Stevens is showing signs of life, despite enduring a loss of $2.6 million, or 5 cents per share, in the fourth quarter.

That represents a marked improvement over the company’s $8.9 million, 18-cents-per-share deficit in the comparable period a year ago.

The home textiles giant saw its net sales climb by 3.3 percent to $431.8 million, compared to $418.2 million a year ago.

During the quarter, WestPoint recognized another charge related to its eight-point restructuring plan, this time to the tune of $800,000.

“We are pleased that we were able to increase sales in the fourth quarter, despite the effects of the ongoing recession and sluggish retail environment,” said Holcombe T. Green Jr., chairman and CEO. “In order to control inventory levels, we took additional downtime during the latter part of the quarter that resulted in unabsorbed overhead of roughly $5 million.”

As a result, the company was able to hold inventories steady at $397 million compared with the third quarter, as inventories declined 2 percent, or $10 million, compared with a year ago.

The company recorded bad debt expense of $7 million net of taxes related to the write-down of receivables as a result of Kmart Corporation’s bankruptcy filing.

Who's next

Week of February 18, 2002

Guilford delisted; Dan River next?

GREENSBORO, NC — Trading of Guilford Mills’ common stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was suspended Tuesday in light of the company’s non-compliance with listing standards.

The company’s stock was delisted after shares traded for less than $1 for 30 consecutive trading days and after the NYSE rejected a business plan filed by Guilford. The company has since applied to have its common stock quoted on the OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB).

Meanwhile, another textile manufacturer, Danville, VA-based Dan River, said that it has submitted a business plan to the NYSE to meet the exchange’s market capitalization requirements for a continued listing.

Fiscal notes

Week of February 18, 2002

Cone Mills losses don’t cut as deep

GREENSBORO, NC — During the “worst quarter in recorded U.S. textile industry history,” according to CEO John Bakane, Cone Mills Corp. showed improvement year over year but still lost $36.5 million in 2001.

The company held down its losses in the quarter, to $2.5 million, or 14 cents a share, which includes charges on the exit of its khaki business. Comparably, Cone lost $28 million, or $1.14 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2000. Sales for the quarter plunged 35 percent to $88.6 million from $136.1 million.

In other news related to the company, an investment group that failed in its 1999 attempt to buy Cone may again be pursuing a deal to gain control of the company, according to reports.

VF Corp. pays big charge in 4Q

GREENSBORO, NC — VF Corp., the world’s largest jeans maker, suffered a fourth-quarter loss of $112.6 million, or $1.03 a diluted share, after enduring a $236 million restructuring charge.

Excluding restructuring charges in both comparable quarters, earnings fell to $57.4 million, or 50 cents per share, from 86.8 million, or 74 cents, in the same quarter last year.

Sales in the quarter slipped about 11 percent, to $1.3 billion, from $1.46 billion a year ago.

For the year, earnings dropped to $137.8 million, or $1.19 a share, from $260.3 million, or $2.21, a year ago. Sales slipped to $5.52 billion from $5.75 billion.

Russell Corp. posts fourth-quarter loss

ATLANTA — Athletic apparel maker Russell Corp. lost $30.8 million, or 96 cents per share, including after-tax charges of $40.4 million, or $1.26 per share, for its previously announced restructuring.

Sales in the quarter dropped to $314.8 million from $328.8 million a year ago.

Crown Crafts turns another profit

ATLANTA — Crown Crafts, Inc. made $736,000 on sales of $23.9 million in the third quarter, marking its second straight quarterly profit.

For the same period last year, the company lost $5.9 million on sales of $67.1 million. Last year’s numbers included those from the adult bedding and bath and wovens divisions, which Crown has since sold.

The Dixie Group shows improvement

CHATTANOOGA, TN — The Dixie Group reported net income of $2.8 million, or $0.24 per share, on sales of $123.7 million for the quarter.

Mohawk Industries sees earnings rise

CALHOUN, GA —Mohawk Industries reported earnings of $59.2 million, or $1.11 per share, up from $39.3 million, or 74 cents, in the comparable quarter of 2000. Sales were up 7 percent, to $895.8 million.

Obituary

Week of February 18, 2002

Dornier’s contributions to industries countless

LINDAUER, GERMANY — Dipl. Ing. Peter Dornier, one of the most well-known owners in the German textile machinery industry, died at his home here on January 28. He was 85.

He owned Lindauer Dornier GmbH, the largest producer of weaving machines in Germany, with a second significant production line of specialty machinery for film stretching for industrial dryers and for mercerizing textiles.

Dornier, the second son of the legendary aircraft pioneer Professor Dr. Claude Dornier, started his professional career in 1944 as an aeroplane design engineer in his father’s company. As early as age 20, he created inventions that influenced developments of Dornier aircraft.

He was actively involved in the conceptual designs of the aeroplane model Do335, even before he graduated from the Technical University of Munich.

Until the end of the 1950s, Dornier contributed substantially to the reconstruction of the German aeronautics industry. He was prominently involved in the development of the DO 31 vertical take-off and landing jet airplane, a transporter project of the German military.

Parallel to these endeavors, in 1950 he assumed the challenge to establish and develop Lindauer Dornier GmbH after the Allied Forces released the former Dornier manufacturing facility in Lindau Rickenbach into private hands.

After 50 years of successful entrepreneurial efforts, he handed over the management of his life’s work to his son Peter D. Dornier last year.

ATME, Inc.

Week of February 18, 2002

Mack Brooks Exhibitions to co-own ATME, Inc.

By Devin Steele

The American Textile Machinery Association (ATMA) and the Association and Society Management International (ASMI) has inked a deal with an international exhibition specialist to co-own the American Textile Machinery Exhibition, Inc., a company formed to produce the American Textile Machinery Exhibition-International (ATME-I®) trade show.

ATMA and ASMI announced recently that U.K.- and U.S.-based Mack Brooks Exhibitions (MBE) has signed the agreement for the new company.

“For ATMA and its members, this company puts ATMA in an equity position with a profit-making company,” Harry W. “Buzz” Buzzerd, president of ATMA, told STN. “This guarantees ATMA’s financial future, regardless of the (ATME-I) show. And that’s appropriate for ATMA members. ATMA is probably going to offer more than it has ever offered before with this venture.”

“We have a target of basically making membership in ATMA, for the members exhibiting, dues-neutral,” added ATMA Vice Chairman Fred Moorhead Jr. “There are going to have to be some dues, yes. But we intend to return to the members every bit of the money they put into the association.”

Textile Hall Corporation, which has co-sponsored ATME-I for years, will remain affiliated with the event, Buzzerd said.

ATME-I has taken place in Greenville, SC, since 1969, after being moved from Atlantic City, NJ, by its owner, ATMA. In recent times the show has been held in two parts at the Palmetto Exhibition Center.

ATME-I takes place in Greenville next in November 2004 before moving to the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta in November 2006. Moving the show will allow ATME-I to take place as a single, unified event, bringing together 500,000 net square feet of exhibits under one roof, Buzzerd said.

“Heavy machinery shows are something for which we have special expertise as we organize several such events in Europe,” said MBE’s Stephen Brooks.

Editorial

Week of February 18, 2002

Dream weavers see bright future

FROM THE “Thinking Different” file, the American Textile Machinery Association (ATMA) is doing its part to prepare for the future, a future that includes textile manufacturing — in this country. The suburban D.C.-based organization, which owns the American Textile Machinery Exhibition-International trade show, is in the process of planning a prodigious production in 2006 in Atlanta. Call ’em dreamers, but ATMA officials say the trade show has the potential to rival even the world’s largest exhibition for textile machinery, ITMA.

Of course, a textile-related exposition of the magnitude they envision probably cannot be staged using traditional textile machinery alone, ATMA executives acknowledge. That’s why they’ve included other textile-related associations in discussions as they put together what they’re calling, for now anyway, “Megatex.” Invitations have been made to several groups to consider holding their own exhibitions and/or conferences in the same November 2006 time frame at the Georgia World Congress Center. One group, the Industrial Fabrics Association International already has signed on to stage its IFAI Expo during the same week. Other organizations pondering such a move include, but are not limited to, the American Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists (AATCC), the Knitted Textile Association (KTA) and The Hosiery Association (THA), according to ATMA officials.

Planners see an event that represents processes and products from fiber to retail — a one-stop shop, if you will. Goals of the single-location, same-time presentations are to “maximize utility and reduce frequency of textile supplies-related shows in the United States and to create a key event of great magnitude for the Americas,” organizers said.

What a concept.

PESSIMISTS MAY SAY that such a event is a disaster in the making. They may wonder: Who can predict the domestic industry’s standing on the global stage four years from now? With contraction occurring just about daily in this country, who will be left to attend?

ATMA, of course, doesn’t read tea leaves, but that isn’t stopping the group from operating under the assumption that textile manufacturing will exist in the good ’ol US of A in the next few years and beyond. Nor should it think otherwise. We’ve all been told by those who follow such things that textiles is not leaving this country altogether, that an industry will emerge from these transitional times as a smaller but just as viable complex.

Besides, ATMA leaders say, the show will be geared toward the Western Hemisphere, anchored by U.S. manufacturers, with the regionalized approach being a thing of the past. By the time the show is finalized, it could even include show producers from South America and perhaps Latin America, organizers added. And there’s no reason that a colossal event that includes cross-sectors won’t draw great interest from Europe and the Far East, they added.

“Why does (ITMA) have to be the biggest show in the world?” Harry W. Buzzerd, president of ATMA, mused recently.

Ah, to the dreamers go the spoils, perhaps.

WITH SUCH a “Megatex” event in the works, we would encourage other associations to at least consider jumping on this bandwagon. During changing times, changing mindsets are growing ever more essential. And what a statement this coming together as an industry would make to those who have written the obituary of U.S. textiles.

Go ahead: Think different. That’s what will separate the survivors from the victims.

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