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Mount Vernon Mills Acquisition Unlocks Vertical Value

Mount Vernon Mills has agreed to acquire Wade Manufacturing Company’s yarn spinning and weaving facility in Rockingham, N.C.

The move will make Mount Vernon vertically integrated from yarn production to finished fabric in certain products and give the company greater control of its supply chain. No other assets or part of Wade Manufacturing’s business, which is headquartered in Wadesboro, N.C., are in included in the acquisition. The transaction is expected to close in early February. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“The Rockingham facility is a modern, cost-efficient operation with an experienced and stable workforce, making it a great fit as we increase the amount of control that we have over our yarn supply, weaving operations and overall costs,” Mount Vernon Mills CEO Bill Duncan said. “We are also proud to expand our footprint in the U.S. and build upon our made in America commitment and heritage.”

Mount Vernon Mills said it plans to hire substantially all the current workforce in the Rockingham facility and may look to add additional positions in the future to bring the plant to full capacity. Initially, the Rockingham facility will produce open-end spun yarn for Mount Vernon Mills and woven greige goods for the company’s flame resistant (FR) products.

“The acquisition not only adds stability to Mount Vernon’s supply chain, but it also adds stability to the workforce located here in the Rockingham community,” said Bernie Hodges, CEO of Wade Manufacturing. “We know that our employees will be well taken care of, and that they will continue to carry on the rich traditions of the U.S. textile industry.”

Privately owned Mount Vernon Mills has recently invested in its operations post pandemic, including upgrading finishing equipment and initiating a loom replacement program in its Trion, Ga., facility.

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Mount Vernon Mills is a 175-year-old manufacturer of textile, chemical and related products for the apparel, industrial, institutional and commercial markets. Mount Vernon FR is part of Mount Vernon Mills’ Apparel Fabrics Group, which manufactures denim, flame resistant and piece-dyed fabric. It is the largest of all the Mount Vernon Mills groups, accounting for more than half of all sales.

North Carolina’s textile heritage has received renewed attention of late. Earlier this month, Bast Fibre Technologies Inc, a manufacturer of premium natural fibers for the global nonwoven and textile industries, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Lumberton Cellulose, a natural fiber processing facility located in Lumberton, N.C., from Georgia-Pacific Cellulose LLC. BFT plans to grow and invest in the operation, establishing LC as its flagship U.S. manufacturing site and opening new opportunities and markets for North American hemp and flax growers.

Last month, Children’s wear manufacturer LT Apparel Group said it was expanding operations in North Carolina with an investment of at least $57 million in Greensboro. The company’s project will add a minimum of 116 new jobs to the community and will help increase industrial capacity at the Reedy Fork Corporate Park. LT Apparel Group, with headquarters in New York City, designs, sources, manufactures and markets children’s apparel.