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A&E, Vardhman Form Joint Venture

American & Efird Inc. (A&E), a Mount Holly, N.C.-based manufacturer of yarn and thread, has signed a joint venture agreement with India-based Vardhman Textiles Ltd. to manufacture, distribute and sell sewing thread for Indian and export consumer and industrial markets. Under the agreement, A&E will own 35 percent of the venture upon closing, with assumption of an additional 14 percent over the next five years. Vardhman will contribute its sewing thread operations to the northern India-based joint venture, while A&E will contribute cash.

As the second-largest thread company in India, Vardhman generated sales totaling some $69 million in fiscal year 2007. The company has held a license to produce and sell A&E products in India since 2001. It also produces and markets yarns, fabrics, fiber and alloy steel, and had total consolidated sales of some $476 million in 2007.

“This strategic joint venture leverages the strengths of both companies to expand thread sales in India’s rapidly growing sewn products market and further expands A&E’s presence in this important region of Asia,” said Thomas W. Dickson, chairman of the board, president and CEO, Ruddick Corp., A&E’s parent company.

May/June 2008