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Burlington Technologies Joins Forces With Bentex Mills

Burlington Technologies Inc., Burlington, N.C., and Bentex Mills Inc., Greensboro, N.C., have formed a strategic alliance. Going forward, Bentex Mills will operate as an independent division of Burlington Technologies, and Bentex owner Ernest Benbassat will serve as Burlington’s executive vice president of fabric manufacturing and president of the Bentex division.

The alliance is expected to align strategic capabilities of each company as well as provide operating synergies and expand market opportunities at a time when both companies are growing and domestic supply is becoming increasingly important to their customers.

Burlington Technologies currently operates three core businesses including package-yarn dyeing operation Burlington Manufacturing Services (BMS); residential decorative fabrics weaver Se7en LLC; and cut-and-sew products and services provider Gryphon Seams. The company also has two business affiliates including VitaFlex LLC — a manufacturer of elastic nonwoven products — and Diagnostic Chips LLC — a developer of diagnostic testing technologies for medical, biological and food safety applications.

Bentex Mills is a weaver of custom fabrics primarily for contract applications such as hospitality, health care and office furnishings. Founded in 1997, the company boasts of having state-of-the-art design and manufacturing capabilities, has the flexibility needed to process small orders, and promises fast on-time delivery.

Se7en offers an open line to fit marketplace needs, but it also offers custom design capabilities and is able to process short runs and offer fast, flexible turnarounds, according to Michael R. Durham, president and CEO, Burlington Technologies. Those capabilities will remain core focuses for both Se7en and Bentex, he said, adding that mid-level to higher-end customers have been returning some business to the United States because offshoring is not yielding the benefits originally anticipated.

“The offshore pricing advantages for small lot sizes and/or sophisticated weavers are fast disappearing,” Durham said. “And now customers are taking a closer look at things like intellectual property protection, product quality, inventories and reliable delivery.”

Durham said Se7en will continue to concentrate on the residential marketplace, while Bentex will continue its focus on contract/hospitality markets. “Both will operate as separate branding/market entities within Burlington Techologies, but on a common manufacturing platform,” he said.

October 9, 2012