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WL Ross Delivers Winning Bid To Purchase Burlington

WL Ross Delivers Winning Bid To Purchase BurlingtonAn offer by WL RossandCo. LLC, New York City, has emerged as the highest and best bid in an auction for the assets of Greensboro-based Burlington Industries Inc. WL Ross bid of $614 million in cash was approved by the US Bankruptcy Court August 1. Burlington has incorporated the acquisition into its plan of reorganization and expects the deal to close in October. Burlington filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late 2001. After selling off or closing unprofitable operations, it was ordered to auction off its remaining businesses.The winning bid provides for the concurrent sale by WL Ross of Burlingtons Lees Carpets division to Mohawk Industries Inc., Calhoun (See related story, left). WL Ross will retain ownership of Burlingtons Apparel Fabrics and Interior Fabrics divisions, and Hong Kong-based Burlington Worldwide Ltd., its licensing, sourcing and marketing arm; as well as Burlingtons majority interest in Greensboro-based Nano-Tex LLC.According to Burlington estimates, unsecured creditors will receive 41.5 percent per allowed claim amount. Secured creditors will be paid in full.Our interest in Burlington is in its name, its reputation for quality, integrity, strong people culture, and its potential to be a leader in the global textile market, said Wilbur L. Ross, chairman, WL Ross, speaking to Burlington management. Other than Lees Carpets, which is being acquired by a wonderful strategic fit, Mohawk, our present thought is to maintain every Burlington business that has realistic prospects for viability.

Wilbur L. Ross (left) and George W. Henderson III present WL Ross' acquisition plan to Burlington management.The pending sale to WL RossandCo. provides our businesses a strong financial foundation and the ability to grow and further enhance our competitiveness, said George W. Henderson III, chairman and CEO, Burlington. We are pleased not only with the recovery were able to provide to creditors, but also that we are able to maintain employee benefits and provide a positive outcome for our employees who pulled together and worked so hard to bring the company to this point. September 2003