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MLI Acquires Two Hanesbrands Plants In Mexico

ML Industries Inc. (MLI), a Pharr, Texas-based textile manufacturer serving automotive safety and seating, apparel and decoration, marine, and wind energy markets, has purchased two manufacturing plants in Mexico from apparel maker Hanesbrands Inc., Winston-Salem, N.C.

The plants are located in Francisco Madero and San Pedro, near the city of Torreón. MLI President and CEO Mickey Dunn said MLI will move automotive  airbag operations from its existing Francisco Madero plant into the 130,000-square-foot Hanesbrands plant in that town. MLI is seeking a joint-venture partner to set up operations in San Pedro.

"We are building on 19 years of experience manufacturing in the United States and Mexico," Dunn said. "This acquisition will allow us to continue to diversify product mix and attract new customers."

Founded in 1990 in McCaysville, Ga., under the name Major League Inc., the company first was a contract cut-and-sew manufacturer for private label apparel. It began its Mexican operations after the North America Free Trade Agreement was passed in 1994. In 2002, the company added niche-market non-apparel products including automotive airbags, seat covers and seat inserts; and it changed its name to ML Industries Inc. in 2004 to reflect this wider scope. In 2009, MLI added more than 800 employees to its workforce, and it anticipates 25-percent growth in all sectors of its business this year, Dunn said.

January/February 2010