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Springs, Coteminas To Merge

Springs Industries Inc., Fort Mill, S.C., and Brazil-based Coteminas — a key Springs supplier since 2001 — will combine their home textile businesses in a joint venture to be called Springs Global, which will have its headquarters in Brazil.

“Springs Global will be the largest vertically integrated textile home furnishings company in the world, uniquely positioned to lead the rapid transition of our industry to global operations and global competition,” said Crandall Close Bowles, chairman and CEO, Springs; and Josué Christiano Gomes da Silva, chairman and CEO, Coteminas.

Gomes da Silva is the son of José Alencar Gomes da Silva, founder of Coteminas and vice president of Brazil.

In a recent video message, Bowles assured Springs employees that, despite Springs Global having Brazilian headquarters, the company’s US operations “will continue to be based in Fort Mill just as they have been, in the same offices my grandfather built in 1952.

“Now, does this mean we will close more plants and move production to Brazil? The answer is, maybe, but no more and no more quickly than we would have without this merger. As you know, we have already moved a lot of towel and bedding production to Coteminas,” Bowles added.

Bowles and Gomes da Silva will be co-CEOs of the joint venture. Each company will hold 50 percent of Springs Global’s voting and total capital under the deal, which is expected to close by year-end. Certain segments of each company’s businesses will remain in place and not join in the venture.

November/December 2005