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WL Ross Acquires Indian Worsted Manufacturer

New York City-based turnaround investment firm WL Ross & Co. LLC has signed a contract to acquire India-based worsted textile manufacturer OCM India Ltd. for $37 million in cash.

OCM, a recent spin-off from India-based textile company Birla VXL Ltd., was offered for sale through the Asset Reconstruction Co. (India) Ltd. (Arcil). “[T]he OCM acquisition is the first 100-percent buyout of a major Indian enterprise by a global turnaround fund,” said Sudhamoy Khasnobis, managing director and CEO, Arcil.

According to WL Ross, OCM’s state-of-the-art, vertically integrated manufacturing facility is one of the first ISO 9001-certified mills in India. The plant has 34,000 spindles, 12 autoconers and 185 looms; and employs approximately 200 people.

“OCM is a very famous brand within India,” said Wilbur L. Ross Jr., chairman, WL Ross. OCM’s tweed and jacket suitings are offered through 60 wholesalers and more than 1,200 retailers across India, as well as in global markets.

Ross said OCM will have a close association with the Greensboro, N.C.-based International Textile Group Inc. (ITG) — formed in 2004 through the merger of Burlington Industries Inc. and Cone Mills Corp., which he acquired in 2003. ITG has made investments in the United States, China, Latin America including Mexico and Nicaragua, and Vietnam; and manufactures, sells and markets denim, worsted wool, man-made and cotton fabrics throughout the world.

“OCM establishes us in India’s textile sector and further adds to the resources and synergies of our textile holdings,” Ross said. “We expect rapid growth there in the future.” He added that a primary goal is to rehabilitate the company’s market position within India and also to help it with export sales.

Ross expects the acquisition will be complete by the end of this month.

October 3, 2006