Still interested in P'tex

Don Hogsett, June 16, 2003

Only weeks before its bankruptcy filing, WestPoint was still in the running to acquire rival Pillowtex Corp. — and still hasn't given up on acquiring its powerful stable of brands.

"We put in a bid for Pillowtex," WestPoint interim ceo Chip Fontenot confirmed. "We could have combined the two companies. Even with our balance sheet, we could have supported it. But Springs came in with a higher officer — and then they withdrew," he said. And by then the clock was ticking on its bankruptcy filing.

And while the ultimate fate of Pillowtex is still up in the air — speculation still abounds about a possible suitor from across the waters — should the brands ever become available, possibly in an auction, WestPoint could still be in the running, if not directly, he said.

Although WestPoint's hands are tied while it's in bankruptcy, the three big bondholders who will eventually own the major mill after it emerges from Chapter 11 could buy the brands on its behalf, Fontenot noted.

"We can't do it, but that's not to say the new owners couldn't. If we can make a strong case for buying Pillowtex or its brands, and I think we can, there's no reason they couldn't buy them and merge them into the company after it emerges from bankruptcy."

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