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Burlington Technologies Joins Forces With Bentex Mills

Burlington Technologies Inc., Burlington, N.C., and Bentex Mills Inc., Greensboro, N.C., have formed a strategic alliance through which Bentex Mills will operate as an independent division of Burlington Technologies. Bentex Owner Ernest Benbassat now serves as Burlington's executive vice president of fabric manufacturing and president of the Bentex division.

The alliance is expected to align strategic capabilities, provides operating synergies and expands market opportunities for both companies.

Burlington Technologies operates three businesses: package-yarn dyer Burlington Manufacturing Services; residential decorative fabrics weaver Se7en LLC; and cut-and-sew products and services provider Gryphon Seams. The company also has two business affiliates: elastic nonwoven products manufacturer VitaFlex LLC; and diagnostic testing technologies developer Diagnostic Chips LLC.

Bentex weaves custom fabrics primarily for hospitality, healthcare and office furnishings applications. Founded in 1997, the company offers state-of-the-art design and manufacturing capabilities, can process small orders, and promises fast on-time delivery.

Se7en offers an open line as well as custom design capabilities; is able to process short runs; and offers fast, flexible turnarounds, according to Michael R. Durham, president and CEO, Burlington Technologies. Those capabilities will remain core focuses for both Se7en and Bentex, he said, adding that mid-level to higher-end customers have been returning some business to the United States because offshoring is not yielding the benefits originally anticipated.  

"The offshore pricing advantages for small lot sizes and/or sophisticated weavers are fast disappearing," Durham said. "And now customers are taking a closer look at things like intellectual property protection, product quality, inventories and reliable delivery."

Se7en will continue to focus on residential markets, while Bentex will continue its focus on contract/hospitality markets. "Both will operate as separate branding/market entities within Burlington Techologies, but on a common manufacturing platform," Durham said.

November/December 2012