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MLI Acquires Two Hanesbrands Plants In Mexico

ML Industries Inc. (MLI) -- a Pharr, Texas-based textile manufacturer serving automotive safety and seating, apparel and decoration, marine, and wind energy markets -- has acquired two state-of-the-art Mexico-based manufacturing plants from Winston-Salem, N.C.-based branded apparel maker Hanesbrands Inc., for an undisclosed price.

The plants are located in Francisco Madero and San Pedro, near the city of Torreon. According to MLI President and CEO Mickey Dunn, the company will move automotive  airbag operations from its existing plant in Francisco Madero into the 130,000-square-foot Hanesbrands plant in that town. MLI currently is looking for a joint-venture partner to set up operations in the San Pedro plant.

"We are building on 19 years of experience manufacturing in the United States and Mexico," Dunn said. "This acquisition will allow us to continue to diversify product mix and allow us to attract new customers."

Founded in 1990 in McCaysville, Ga., under the name Major League Inc., the company began operations as a contract cut-and-sew manufacturer focused on private label apparel. The company began its Mexican operations to avail itself of advantages associated with the North America Free Trade Agreement, which was passed in 1994. It now operates two plants in Mexico: one in Diaz Ordaz, Tamaulipas; as well as the Francisco Madero plant. In 2002, the company expanded its offerings to include non-apparel products for niche markets including automotive airbags, seat covers and seat inserts; and it changed its name to ML Industries Inc. in 2004 to reflect this wider scope. In the course of 2009, MLI has increased its workforce by more than 800 employees, and it anticipates 25-percent growth in all sectors of its business in the coming year, Dunn said.

December 22, 2009