Milliken & Company, Spartanburg, has signed a letter of intent to sell its Automotive Body
Cloth division to a management group led by Dirk Pieper and Brian McSharry, with support from
Greenville-based investment firm Azalea Capital LLC. The new company, to be called Autotex, will be
based in South Carolina. Jim Micali, an Azalea principal and a former president and chairman of
Greenville-based Michelin North America Inc., will serve as chairman. As of Textile World’s press
time, the sale was expected to be complete July 10, 2009.
Milliken stated the sale is in line with its strategy to focus on other existing and emerging
growth markets. Approximately 1,200 associates in the division’s worldwide operation are impacted
by the sale. Of those, more than 1,000 will transfer to Autotex.
Included in the sale are Gayley Plant, Marietta, S.C.; Abbeville Plant, Abbeville, S.C.;
Cotton Blossom Plant, Spartanburg; Avalon Plant, Toccoa, Ga.; Autotex Plant, Brazil; and support
operations in the United Kingdom, Japan and China. Sharon Plant near Abbeville will close,
impacting 140 associates.