Ross Takes ITG 'Safely' Public
By Don Hogsett -- Home Textiles Today, 10/30/2006 12:00:00 AM
New York —
Contrarian investor Wilbur Ross, who has knitted together a handful of textiles holdings, including pieces of Burlington Industries and Cone Mills, under the International Textile Group (ITG) nameplate, has beefed up his textile consortium by adding Safety Components International, a specialty textiles producer in Greenville, S.C.
And in a step as remarkable as it is swift, Ross now effectively makes ITG a public company by blending it in with Safety, whose shares were already being publicly traded. This creates a new textiles powerhouse with 9,000 workers and 2005 sales approaching $1 billion.
Since Safety has operated as a public company, the combination makes ITG a de facto public company, with none of the hassle or cost of mounting an initial public offering. The combined company will operate under the International Textile marquee. Stock in the newly combined company will continue to trade on the over-the-counter (OTC) bulletin board, initially under the SAFY symbol.
Ross, who has specialized over the years in out-of-favor industries and distressed companies that he believes can be turned around, will remain chairman of ITG, and Joseph Gorga, president and ceo of ITG, will hold those posts in the newly combined company. Stephen Durek, who had been Safety president, will remain president of the new ITG business unit.
The rapidly growing ITG is now made up of five business units: Safety Textiles International; Cone Denim; Burlington WorldWide (apparel fabrics); Burlington House home fashions; and Carlisle Finishing.
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