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Pillowtex sells blanket biz to manager group

Kannapolis, NC — Pillowtex Corp. today said it will sell most of the assets associated with its Beacon Manufacturing Co. blanket division to Beacon Acquisition Corp., an investment group made up of current division managers and a private investor, for approximately $16.8 million.

Tedd Smith serves as president of Beacon Acquisition Corp.

The purchase agreement, which is subject to bankruptcy court approval, covers two Beacon manufacturing plants, an acrylic blanket manufacturing plant located in Swannanoa, NC, (Beacon's headquarters) and a cotton blanket manufacturing plant in Westminster, SC. A blanket distribution facility, located in Mauldin, SC, will be leased temporarily from Pillowtex. The three facilities combined employ 700 people.

Founded in 1904 and acquired by Pillowtex in 1994, Beacon Manufacturing has been struggling since the late 1990s. Blanket sales fell 24 percent in 2000 to $90.6 million, and net loss widened to $37.8 million. Sales for the division during the first quarter ended March 31 dropped by nearly 48 percent to $10.8 million.

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