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Welspun Acquires Portuguese Bath Specialist Sorema

Home textiles manufacturer Welspun has taken over Portugal-based Sorema, a supplier of luxury bath rugs, bath accessories and shower curtains.

Welspun confirmed to HTT that its Welspun India Ltd. unit has purchased a controlling stake (76%) in Sorema Tapates e Cortinas de Banho, SA, for an "enterprise value" of $R 600 million (approximately $15.2 million U.S.)

The acquisition will provide Welspun with new retail accounts in Europe and a high-end product line with a $4 million foothold in the U.S. Specifically, Welspun said Sorema sells into 44 countries, but four of them — the United States, U.K., Spain and Germany — account for more than three-quarters of total volume.

With its roots as a major terry supplier and a powerful base in bath towel production, the Sorema acquisition dovetails with the anticipated spring 2008 opening of Welspun's new bath rug plant in India, as the company builds out beyond its core offering. Other facilities in Mexico, Portugal and the U.K. will contribute to the product offerings.

The move also tallies with the 2006 purchase of an 85% controlling interest in British terry producer Christy, which gave it a considerable step up in the better bath towel business in the U.K. and Europe.

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