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WL Ross, ITG signs agreements with major Vietnamese textile firm

Jun '07
WL Ross & Co and its majority owned unit, International Textile Group Inc (ITG) both have entered agreements with Phong Phu Corporation, a major cotton textile and clothing manufacturer based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, aimed at sharply expanding their joint venture operating and strategic investment footprint in the Southeast Asian country.

WL Ross and Phong Phu are parties to two of the three agreements signed here late yesterday. One commits them to explore various real estate related joint ventures and the other looks to a potential WL Ross strategic investment in the currently state-owned Phong Phu "as the latter privatizes through an initial public offering." In addition, the agreement calls for any privatization assistance that WL Ross "with its proven investment expertise, can provide."

"Vietnam is among the most rapidly growing countries in the world and we are delighted to have the opportunity to commit additional capital to support that growth. We are especially eager to broaden and deepen our relationship with Phong Phu and are committed to help that management to change from being a State Owned Enterprise to becoming a privatized business."

"The Memoranda of Understanding that we have just signed with President Nguyen Minh Triet, provide the basis for expanding our mutual relationship," said Wilbur L. Ross, Jr, WL Ross & Co.'s founder and chairman.

ITG's Burlington WorldWide division and Phong Phu have been partners since June 2006 in a previously announced $80 million cotton fabric and clothing manufacturing complex under construction in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Under their agreement, ITG and Phong Phu will discuss up to a further $100 million of operating support and joint venture strategic investments, including possible expansion of the Da Nang complex as well as other textile and/or garment manufacturing investments.

International Textile Group Inc

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