In a move that brings together two of the better known names in the U.S. textile industry, Milliken & Company, a diversified manufacturer with more than 150 year of textile expertise, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Polartec from Versa Capital Management.
“Polartec brings a wealth of new and respected outdoor textile expertise to complement Milliken’s strengths,” Halsey Cook, president and CEO of Milliken & Company, said. “The strategic acquisition broadens our textile capabilities with a product offering to now include fleece and soft-shell outerwear, among others, allowing us to grow in new and exciting spaces.”
Headquartered in Andover, Mass., the Polartec brand carries a range of fabric technologies for outdoor apparel, from performance-driven and consumer-focused textiles, to flame-resistant, workwear and military-grade fabrics. Milliken said the addition of Polartec—particularly its outdoor and fleece textiles—rounds out its comprehensive portfolio of performance textiles for consumers, industrial workers and military personnel.
“With more than 150 years of textile innovation, Milliken is the best possible ‘natural owner’ of a brand with Polartec’s pedigree,” Polartec CEO Gary Smith, said. “I’m grateful to Versa Capital Management for their support in realizing Polartec’s full potential, and I’m extremely proud of the global Polartec team for their dedication and hard work that put the company in the position it is in today.”
Credited with inventing modern synthetic fleece in 1981, Polartec products range from lightweight wicking and cooling fabrics, to insulation and weather protection textiles. Versa acquired the assets of the former Malden Mills in 2007 through the then 101-year-old textile manufacturer’s third reorganization.
Working with management, the business was transformed, renaming the company Polartec, reorienting it toward a technology- and innovation-led growth strategy, and revamping the company’s leadership, operations, manufacturing footprint and customer relationships.
“We look forward to growing Polartec’s strong brand at Milliken,” Jeff Price, president of Milliken’s Performance and Protective Textiles division. “Polartec expands our regional manufacturing reach and grows our technological expertise, enabling us to further deliver innovative performance textiles to the global market.”
The acquisition is expected to close in June. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.