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ITG To Purchase BST From WL Ross

International Textile Group Inc. (ITG), Greensboro, N.C., has agreed to acquire Germany-based BST Safety Textiles from New York City-based investor group WL Ross & Co. LLC, which acquired BST in December 2006. ITG, which also is owned by WL Ross, will issue $84 million in preferred stock to WL Ross in payment for BST, and expects to complete the acquisition in early April 2007.

BST, a maker of automotive air-bag fabrics as well as narrow fabrics for seat belts and other applications, will join ITG’s Automotive Group, formed through a merger in October 2006 between ITG and former Greenville-based Safety Components International Inc. (SCI) businesses.

“BST and SCI are both leaders in their markets, and their air bag and technical products complement each other,” said Wilbur L. Ross Jr., chairman. “The ability to bring these two together establishes a power house in the automotive safety components industry and opens new opportunities to service leading automakers worldwide.”

The acquisition follows news that BST will invest $35 million to open a facility at ITG’s Richmond Plant in Cordova, N.C., to produce side-curtain air bags for automobiles. The new facility, which will employ 200 workers, will expand BST’s production capacity to enable it to satisfy growing demand.

Joseph L. Gorga, president and CEO, ITG, said preparations are underway to ready that space for occupation, and machinery should be on the floor as early as April. “We expect to get to the production level needed to match our needs within six months to a year,” he said, adding that the facility will complement BST’s state-of-the-art air-bag production plant in South Hill, Va.

“We invested $20 million in Virginia, and it’s filled to the brim with machinery,” Gorga said.

March/April 2007