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Unifi Textiles Suzhou to develop & source PVA yarns
Aug '08
Unifi Inc announced that it plans to form Unifi Textiles Suzhou Co Ltd a wholly-owned, China-based subsidiary that will focus on the development, sales and service of premium value-added (PVA) yarns for customers in the region. Based in Suzhou, China, the new entity is expected to begin operations by the end of the second quarter.

Unifi will work closely with high-value textile producers to develop innovative PVA and specialty products designed to meet ever-changing consumer demands, and then oversee their production in China.

Initially, UTSC is expected to purchase the branded PVA inventory from the Company's current joint venture partner, Sinopec Yizheng Chemical Fiber Co Ltd, which is also expected to serve as the primary toll manufacturer for UTSC during the start-up. UTSC may add other toll manufacturers over time to grow the portfolio of PVA yarns available to customers in the region.

Bill Jasper, President and CEO of Unifi, said, "Demand for high-value and PVA yarns in China continues to grow at an annual rate of greater than ten percent, and this is the segment UTSC will be solely focused on supplying.

This shift in strategy in China will benefit the Company by not only removing us from the challenging and unprofitable commodity sector but will provide us with greater focus and flexibility, faster product innovation, and enhanced service to customers in the growing PVA segment."

UTSC will look to expand the Asian sales of the Company's successful branded PVA yarns, including Repreve, Sorbtek, Reflexx, Mynx, A.M.Y. and aio.

Unifi will maintain control of all intellectual knowledge associated with the Company's branded products, and will work closely with toll manufacturers to ensure product quality and technical specifications meet company standards.

"Our Company strategy is to transition our product mix toward PVA products, and UTSC will improve our ability to develop and commercialize new PVA products that meet the needs of our customers in the region," said Roger Berrier, Executive Vice President for Sales, Marketing and Asian Operations for Unifi.

"Our growing customer base in China will enjoy faster access to innovative products, with the confidence of knowing that product quality and technical service are backed by Unifi.

They will also benefit from the strength of the relationships that Unifi has developed with many of the world's leading brands and retailers."

Ed Wickes will serve as President of UTSC, reporting to Berrier. UTSC will initially employ up to eleven people, including direct and downstream sales and technical service personnel.

Unifi Inc

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