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Dan River: Harris to turn things around

Don Hogsett -- Home Textiles Today, April 19, 2004

Danville, VA — Bankruptcy and turnaround specialist P. Woolard Harris, who earlier engineered the recovery of Glenoit Corp., has been named chief restructuring officer for Dan River Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors on March 31.

Woolard, former CEO of Tultex Corp., is a partner in the Carl Marks Consulting Group, based in New York City, and will have broad responsibility for overhauling operations at the diversified textiles producer as it formulates a new business strategy and prepares to emerge from bankruptcy, possibly by the end of the year.

Harris was earlier instrumental in helping bankrupt Glenoit Corp. restructure operations, return to profitability and exit Chapter 11 in September 2002. At that time, Woolard commented, "Glenoit was a case of a rollup that never rolled up. We helped eliminate the multiple 'back offices' that were prohibiting the company from operating as a unified, profitable business."

On its Web site, Carl Marks Consulting Group identifies its principal services: business assessment; interim management and crisis management; revitalization consulting; restructuring plan development and execution; and bankruptcy advisory services. Through an affiliate — Carl Marks Capital Advisors — the company also provides investment banking services to help clients execute merger and acquisition strategies and raise capital.

Separately, in a letter to retailers, Joseph Lanier Jr., Dan River chairman and CEO, stressed, "It is important for you to know that Dan River is not going out of business."

Eager to reassure suppliers rattled by the collapse and demise of Pillowtex Corp., Lanier emphasized, "We will continue to provide you with the same high-quality goods and services you have come to expect from us. Chapter 11 means reorganization, not liquidation. Our goal is to preserve and strengthen our business through this restructuring, so that we can compete successfully in the future."

Additionally, getting the message out to customers, suppliers and workers, Dan River has created an unusually comprehensive restructuring component to its Web site. A hard-to-miss banner headline on the Dan River home page invites browsers into a section which contains a user-friendly portfolio of the company's bankruptcy filing and related documents, sparing consumers the need, complexity and cost of using bankruptcy-court Web sites.

Dan River has yet to file its fourth-quarter and 2003 financial results, requesting an extension from the Securities and Exchange Commission. In that filing, the company said it expects to record a 2003 loss of about $152 million, up from a loss of $13 million in 2002, and a sales decline of about 22 percent, to $477 million from $613 million the preceding year.

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