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Elevate Textiles Recapitalizes $394M, Gets New Owners

Debt-saddled textile company Elevate Textiles announced on Tuesday a recapitalization plan to rework its balance sheet, as well as new ownership involving a “consortium of leading global investment firms.”

The Charlotte, N.C.-based owner of American & Efird (A&E), Burlington, Cone Denim, Gütermann, and Safety Components had been $394 million in debt, but with the help of the recapitalization transaction—a maneuvering of debt and equity—Elevate will have $100 million of new capital on hand, while pushing the timeline to pay off its debt back to 2027.

“While there is no anticipated impact on the company’s global operations, these actions strengthen the Company’s capital structure and position Elevate to increase investments in its people, operations and critical growth initiatives for long-term success,” the company said in a statement.

The investment consortium taking control of the company and setting up a new board of directors said, “Elevate’s leadership team, skilled employees, high-quality products, and loyal customers make us confident that the Company will have continued success. We are excited to be part of the Company’s future and look forward to supporting and partnering with Elevate as an industry leader for years to come.”

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Elevate Textiles traces its roots back to 1923 when it opened in Greensboro, N.C. with 200 employees. In 2019, the company changed its name from International Textile Group to Elevate Textiles.

Elevate president and CEO Sim Skinner was encouraged by the move.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this recapitalization process which provides an improved balance sheet and reduced leverage to align with the strength and capabilities of our business and brands. We appreciate the support of our financial stakeholders who have demonstrated their confidence in Elevate, our business plan, and our future,” he said in a statement. “We look forward to directing our focus on delivering the high-quality service and premium products our customers have come to trust and depend on.”

In 2020 Cone Denim started using Oritain to test cotton to confirm the material’s origins, and in 2022 the company joined the textile exchange and commissioned two rooftop solar power panel projects at facilities in China and Sri Lanka.

In 2006, Elevate labeled its commitment to environmental stewardship, “Ten Threads of Sustainability,” an internal program with a focus on driving sustainably sourced fibers, reduced water consumption and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019 the company announced its pledge to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and two years later its commitment to the 1.5 degree Celsius campaign, dedicated to fighting climate change.

“We believe in being at the table with our customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders as together we overcome challenges and partner to find meaningful solutions,” said Jimmy Summers, chief sustainability officer in Elevate’s 2023 sustainability report. “Measurable action is a key focus for us. Setting long term targets and goals is necessary, but real progress can only be made by translating those into actionable steps for today, involving each person within Elevate.”