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Invista to Advance R&D With New Textile Innovation Center as it Joins Shandong Ruyi

As Invista Apparel & Advanced Textiles (A&AT), the owner of such fiber brands as Lycra, Coolmax and Thermolite, prepares to become part of Shandong Ruyi Investment Holding by “mid 2018,” it has signed a memorandum with China’s Foshan Nanhai Sanshan Scientific Innovation Park for the construction of a new Textile Innovation Center.

The Innovation Center, with an area of more than 4,500 square meters, is scheduled to open later this year. An Invista spokeswoman confirmed that the deal for the center relates to Shandong Ruyi ‘s purchase of the Invista A&AT unit from Invista. Sources have said the deal should be completed by July.

The Innovation Center will be equipped with modern textile processing equipment for knitting and weaving, along with garment engineering, fabric certification and analytic testing. It will also include an innovation development area where customers and Invista research and development personnel can meet to develop and test fiber, fabric and garment innovations as it looks to make further inroads in the Chinese market. The A&AT unit also has textile R&D Labs in the U.S., Italy and Taiwan.

“We are excited to attract R&D personnel to our new Innovation Center, as well as use this facility to network with the experienced experts from our other labs, while we work with customers to develop and commercialize new products,” Jack Yang, chief technology officer for the East Region of Invista A&AT. “The team will be committed to creating new textile solutions that are both functional and fashionable to meet the global apparel market needs by conducting research programs based on advanced fibers and textile-based fabric and garment innovations.”

Julien Born, executive vice president of the East Region said the center will serve as a hub to better facilitate communications with global brand and retail customers based in Hong Kong and across the Asia Pacific region, and local brands and retailers serving the China market.”

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Shandong Ruyi Investment Holding said in October it would purchase Invista’s A&AT business—one of Invista’s four major business units—in a stock transaction, to further solidify Ruyi’s position as a key global player in the apparel and hygiene markets.

The transaction, terms of which were not disclosed, also includes manufacturing assets, R&D centers and sales offices around the globe, and all associated technical, commercial, operations and administrative staff—about 3,000 employees globally.

When the deal was announced Yafu Qiu, chairman of Shandong Ruyi, said, “We are committed to taking this business to the next level through continued investment in innovation and the business’ portfolio of consumer-recognized brands. We also see opportunity to leverage Shandong Ruyi Investment Holding’s existing capabilities—including our spandex manufacturing assets—to further enhance A&AT’s position in the global marketplace.”

Shandong Ruyi is one of the largest textile manufacturers in China and ranks among the Top 100 Chinese multinational enterprises. The group predominately engages in textile offerings and owns a fully-integrated value chain with operations spanning across raw materials cultivation, textiles processing, and design and sale of brands and apparel. Headquartered in Jining, it operates 13 domestic industrial parks and has some of the largest production lines and advanced technologies in China.