GIBSONVILLE, N.C. — August 22, 2014 — Banyan, a private investment firm headquartered in Miami and majority shareholder of Burlington Technologies (BT) has announced their acquisition of Keystone Weaving (KW) located in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. The transaction was asset based and included the purchase of Jacquard and Dobby looms, related textile weaving equipment, the Keyston Brand, and Keystone’s business for both Home Fabrics and Apparel Fabrics Markets.
The core weaving businesses for Burlington Technologies include their two flagship companies, Se7en which provides woven jacquard fabrics for Home Furnishings Markets, and Bentex which produces fabrics for Corporate, Healthcare, & Hospitality spaces. BMS (Burlington Manufacturing Services) is a another division of BT that produces and supplies yarns both internally and to external customers in the home furnishings, apparel, and industrial market segments.
Both Se7en and Bentex primarily use synthetic yarns to manufacture their fabrics and Keystone relies upon natural fiber yarns such as cotton, linen, and wool. Mike Durham, President of BT stated that “there is enormous upside to this merger. While KW and Se7en sell products to some of the same customers, they do not overlap due to the variation of construction each company utilizes. Keystone’s product mix is evenly distributed between jacquards, textures and plain fabrics. As a result, the large infusion of Dobby looms into the existing BT equipment mix provides an enormous opportunity for an even greater array of fabrics for Se7en and Bentex.”
Sloan Caplan, President of Keystone stated that his family has been in the weaving business for more than 80 years and they have decided to apply their energies to other interests. “We have been extremely pleased with our growth in the Home Fabrics arena but my father (Eli Caplan) and uncle (Perry Caplan) and I felt it was a good time to sell”, said Caplan.
Along with the purchase, several key members of the KW management team will join BT. Members of operations, design, finance, and customer service have elected to move with the new company. Initially, twenty five new jobs are being created, and with the planned growth, a significant larger number is expected to follow. These additional payroll dollars will provide a major boost to the local economy.
Ray McKinnon will join BT as VP of Merchandising and will oversee the function for both Se7en and Keystone. She previously served as Merchandising Consultant for Keystone. In her new role, she will be responsible for each division’s brand development and recognition, as well as provide leadership and guidance for product development.
Bob McKinnon, former CEO of CV Industries and more recently a consultant for KW has been named Chairman of BT. McKinnon stated that he is excited about the merger. He said, “It is timely and positive for all concerned. Being affiliated with Eli Caplan and his family was a very rewarding experience because he not only is a very good person but had the courage to resurrect his family’s 80 year old business at a time when the economy was in a very poor condition.”
McKinnon went on to say that “BT’S 300,000 square foot weaving operation is one of the best in the U.S. as it provides tremendous fabric design flexibility and exciting and creative options for our customers. We are planning and working diligently to make this merger seamless so that we can meet and surpass our customers’ expectations. Everyone in our organization is convinced that Banyan is totally committed to helping us be the best. Plans are to begin relocating looms in early September and complete the project by late November. Special care is being taken to have a continuation of Keystone fabrics being woven during this process.”
John Miller, Chairman of Banyan, summed up the venture when he said that “the joining together of three excellent weavers is in perfect step with the “on-shoring” process that is taking place in the home fabrics and furnishings arena. Our challenge is to take advantage of the opportunities awaiting us and our competitors.”
Se7en, Bentex and Keystone will remain as independent divisions and maintain the integrity of their product
characteristics although Ray McKinnon will interface with all. Sales staffs and showrooms also will remain independent.
Corporate headquarters and weaving manufacturing will remain at the Burlington Technologies facility located at 5928 Highway 87 North, Gibsonville, NC 27249.
Posted September 2, 2014
Source: Burlington Technologies