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PGI To Close North Little Rock Plant, Consolidate Certain Operations At Benson Plant

Charlotte-based nonwovens producer Polymer Group Inc. (PGI) has announced it will close its plant in North Little Rock, Ark., with plans to phase out operations by the end of March 2010 and consolidate parts of its hydroentanglement and fusible fiber businesses at its plant in Benson, N.C., in an effort to increase efficiency and minimize costs. The company cited decreased demand for select industrial products and the need to upgrade process capabilities in announcing the consolidation.

"PGI's focus on leading market positions and global growth requires a constant assessment of our capabilities compared to the market needs," said Veronica "Ronee" Hagen, CEO, PGI. "As certain market segments for carded technologies increasingly become commoditized or transition to more cost-effective technologies, we must constantly streamline business operations and enhance our capabilities to maintain competitiveness. As a result of these activities, we will be upgrading our overall asset base to better meet market needs."

The North Little Rock plant opened in 1956 and became part of PGI in 1995 when the company purchased Chicopee Inc. from Johnson & Johnson. After PGI completes the consolidation, it will continue operating seven plants in the United States, located in Benson; Mooresville, N.C.; Waynesboro, Va.; Kingman, Kan.; Clearfield, Utah; Guntown, Miss.; and Clackamas, Ore. 

June 9, 2009