DuPont out of polyester staple biz

Carole Sloan, July 9, 2001

DuPont will exit the polyester staple business by 2002 as it steps away from the joint venture with Alpek producing polyester staple in the Americas. The venture was formed by the two companies in 1999.

Polyester, in staple and filament form, is used as fiberfill for furniture and other home furnishings and as a fiber in upholstery fabrics.

DuPont will also sell some of its U. S. Polyester Enterprises businesses and manufacturing assets to Alpek, the petrochemical group of Mexico's industrial conglomerate, ALFA S.A. Included in the sale of raw materials and resins used to make polyester fiber among other products are DuPont's manufacturing facilities at the Cape Fear site in Wilmington, NC, and the Cedar Creek site in Fayetteville, NC. Alpek also will purchase other polyester polymerization facilities at Cape Fear and at the Cooper River site in Charleston, SC.

DuPont also has a joint venture with Unifi to produce polyester filament in North and South America that allows DuPont to sell the balance of its polyester filament business to Unifi by 2005.

The company's exit from the polyester staple business follows the formation in January of its new Apparel & Textile Sciences business that was designed to market the DuPont fiber products and other DuPont services. Included in this business unit are its Lycra spandex, nylon and branded specialty polyester fibers.

DuPont will continue as the owner of the Dacron name and will license it to Alpek for polyester staple and to Unifi for polyester filament.

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