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Unifi Signs Letter Of Intent For Nonwoven Equipment

Unifi Inc., Greensboro, N.C., recently announced the first in a series of steps the company will complete to enter the growing nonwoven fabric business. Unifi, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Unifi Technical Fabrics (UTF), is evaluating sites in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina to construct a nonwoven fabric plant.The company recently signed a letter of intent to purchase a multi-beam Reifenhauser Reicofil 3MF spunbond line with fine denier capabilities. This is the nonwoven industrys most proven and technologically advanced machine, the company says. The equipment will allow Unifi to produce a wide range of products, including fine-denier nonwoven fabric for the hygiene, medical, protective apparel, furniture and bedding construction and industrial markets.Unifi expects delivery on the Reifenhauser machinery in May 2000, with production beginning in the first quarter of 2001.Our decision to produce nonwoven fabrics represents an important new strategic direction for Unifi that fits with our long-term growth plan, said W. Michael Mebane, Unifi vice president of strategic planning and development. The nonwoven fabric business has attractive growth potential and room for another strong competitor.

September 1999