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ITG's Pioneer Plant <br>Lives On As Part Of New Enterprise

Burlington, N.C.-based Pioneer Plant — established in 1923 as the first manufacturing plant for Burlington Industries, now part of Greensboro, N.C.-based International Textile Group Inc. (ITG), — is getting a new life under new ownership, with a continuation of operations as a new company run by the former operation’s management team.

The plant has been purchased from ITG by a unit of Lee Properties, High Point, N.C. The former ITG manufacturing operation, which includes yarn and warp preparation, has been purchased by Burlington Manufacturing Services Inc. (BMS), headed by former Burlington and ITG executive Robert Sills. BMS, which offers technical and production solutions to textile manufacturers and employs some 100 people, is leasing space in the facility, as is American Yarn, a company formed last year that has taken over the warping and warp drawing part of the operation.

“Increased needs for short runs and reduced lead times complicated by inventory and costs constraints are creating new challenges for today’s domestic manufacturers,” Sills said. “Going forward, BMS will offer companies R&D expertise, product development and advanced equipment capabilities that lower costs and provide quick-turn solutions.”

Pierre Simmen, president, American Yarn, said the two companies, while separate, will work as partners. “By sharing knowledge and common resources, American Yarn is confident that the Pioneer Facility will provide … synergy and create a competitive advantage that is mutually beneficial to all parties involved ….”

American Yarn employs 15 people and plans to add about 30 new employees over the next two years. “We’re installing new equipment as fast as we can,” Simmen said.

July/August 2007