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Yarn producer Unifi active in acquisitions

Greensboro, N.C. – Diversified specialty yarn producer Unifi intends to play an active role in the consolidation of the North American polyester and nylon yarn marketplace, the company said at today’s Lehman Brothers 2007 High Yield Bond and Syndicated Loan Conference.

The company, which had fiscal 2006 sales of $738.8 million, acquired Dillon, S.C.-based Dillon Yarn in January for approximately $62.6 million. The goal is to lower costs, and better compete with both regional and global suppliers.

“We do plan to selectively pursue additional acquisitions that make sense,” said Unifi vp, coo and cfo William Lowe, speaking at the conference.

On the “green” front, Lowe also noted that business is booming for Unifi’s recently introduced 100% recycled yarn line, Repreve. “We actually expect sales in 2008 to exceed our Sorbtek [moisture wicking] line,” he said, adding that the green factor also has a financial component, as using recycled materials directly reduces the company’s outlays for petroleum-derived materials. Home furnishings customers account for about 17% of overall Unifi business, Lowe said.

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