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Cone Mills To Build Denim Plant In Guatemala

Greensboro, N.C.-based International Textile Group (ITG) subsidiary Cone Mills LLC has announced it will build a denim plant in Guatemala. The new plant will expand Cone Mills global production capacity by 30 million yards.

ITG acquired Cone Mills after the denim manufacturer emerged from bankruptcy earlier this year. Cone Mills maintains production plants in the United States and Mexico, and participates in joint ventures in India and Turkey.

"Favorable customer reaction to our acquisition by ITG and our design initiatives has created more demand than we can produce," said John L. Bakane, CEO, Cone Mills. "Supplying Central American customers locally will increase supply elsewhere and position us for the eventual adoption of a Central American Free Trade Agreement."

"This project will benefit from Guatemala's realistic wages, highly skilled workers, transportation infrastructures and exemption from import tariffs and from value-added and income taxes for 10 years," said Wilbur L. Ross, chairman, ITG. "Guatemalan President Oscar Berger and I [have] signed a protocol of mutual support for an appropriate CAFTA and for the development of the Guatemalan textile industry. This completes our hemispheric strategy and enables us now to focus on a major strategy for Asia. "

July 2004