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Lewis Hollingsworth Completes Liberty Fibers Acquisition

Lewis Hollingsworth LP, a Dallas-based private equity firm, has completed acquisition of the majority ownership of Lowland, Tenn.-based Liberty Fibers Corp. - the only rayon staple fiber manufacturer in North America - and arranged secured debt financing for the company.

"[I am] impressed with the skills and experience of the employees and management team along with the strong customer base at Liberty," said Arthur Hollingsworth, Liberty Fibers new chairman. "Lewis Hollingsworth will give its support to Liberty in the years ahead as the company expands its production and develops rayon fibers for new applications."

"[W]e look forward to working with our customers, suppliers and new owners to build Liberty Fibers into a reliable source of high-quality rayon fibers," said Craig Barker, president and CEO, Liberty Fibers. He said the company has developed a flame-resistant rayon fiber that is being used in mattresses to make them compliant with new open-flame-resistance regulations that went into effect in California earlier this year. "This has been our main push, and we will continue to work on it as the market develops," he added.

Barker also announced the promotion of Peter S. Grant as COO and the appointment of Tim Cates as CFO of the company, which has annual sales of close to $100 million and a workforce of 350 people.

February 2005