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Unifi Reorganization Efforts Continue

A shake-up at Greensboro, N.C.-based textured yarn producer Unifi Inc. continues following the report of continuing losses for the fourth quarter (Q4) and fiscal year (FY) ending June 24, 2007; the naming of board member Stephen Wener as chairman and acting CEO, replacing Brian R. Parke, who was terminated; and the news of plans to close its Kinston, N.C., partially oriented yarn production facility (See “Unifi Names New Chairman, Reports Q4 Losses, Announces Plant Closing,” www. TextileWorld.com , August 7, 2007).

In the wake of the resignation of six board members, Unifi’s Board of Directors named two new members: George R. Perkins Jr., chairman and CEO of Frontier Spinning Mills Inc., and a former Unifi executive; and G. Alfred Webster, retired, also a former company executive and director. The board also named William M. Sams as independent “Lead Director.” Perkins and Webster will fill key committee vacancies, returning Unifi to compliance with New York Stock Exchange listing requirements.

The effects of offshore competition for both Unifi and some of its customers have contributed significantly to the company’s financial woes. Unifi cited that competition as a reason for its decision to close the Kinston facility, as it has in previous such decisions.

The Q4 and FY 2007 losses included bad debt charges related to receivables owed by upholstery fabrics manufacturers Joan Fabrics Corp. and Quaker Fabrics Corp., which likewise have been severely impacted by offshore competition, and have liquidated or are preparing to liquidate their assets.

To further reduce costs, Unifi will restructure functions of certain corporate staff and manufacturing support, eliminating 25 jobs and, combined with previous cuts, reducing costs by $9 million annually.

“It is imperative that we continue to match our support costs to the size of our current business … while maintaining world-class service, product innovation, and quality to successfully compete in our market and reach our goals,” said COO and CFO William Lowe.

September/October 2007