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Schoeller Textil Acquires Eschler Group

Switzerland-based Schoeller Textil AG -- a developer and manufacturer of stretch woven functional fabrics and smart textile technologies for activewear, workwear and lifestyle apparel applications -- has acquired Christian Eschler AG -- a Switzerland-based manufacturer of functional knitted fabrics for sports, including high-performance Alpine sports; as well as workwear, technical textiles and lingerie applications.

According to the companies, which as separate family-owned enterprises have long worked together, the merger will broaden the offerings available to joint customers. In addition, Eschler's knitting expertise is expected to provide important synergies for innovations developed within Schoeller's recently established venture, Schoeller Medical AG, whose first commercial product line is the functionMED™ range of fashionable, comfortable women's and men's incontinence underwear.

Speaking about the merger, Schoeller Textil Board of Administration President Franz Albers stated, "It is the coming together of two companies, each of which is among the world-wide market leaders in its own segment and ideally complements one another."

Eschler Group Board of Administration President Hansjörg Rettenmund concurred, calling the cooperation "a far-sighted business move which will secure the future and which represents a logical consequence in terms of market positioning."

The Eschler brand will continue to be offered as an independent brand. Schoeller will base its sports apparel sales organization, including 45 employees, in Eschler Group's headquarters in Bühler, Switzerland. Former Managing Director Matthias Eschler, will continue to lead activities at the Eschler Textil GmbH plant in Balingen, Germany, overseeing an expansion of Eschler's Technical Textiles division as well as the manufacture of high-tech knit fabrics to be offered under the Schoeller brand for commercial and professional sports apparel.

The development team at Eschler's technology and innovation center, which opened in Bühler last year as part of a group restructuring, is now located in Schoeller's Sevelen, Switzerland, facility. Developments will also be carried out in Schoeller's laboratory in Gams, Switzerland, which provides facilities for chemical analysis and microbiological studies.

The Sevelen facility also will feature a new, state-of-the-art automated washing system for stretch wovens and knits. Production of both wovens and knits will continue to comply with the bluesign® ecological standard for textiles.

June 5, 2012

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