NEW YORK--Fab Industries is reportedly close to acquiring Andrex Industries, a deal that would join two prominent knit fabric firms. Sources said the two firms have been negotiating for at least three weeks. Neither Samson Bitensky, Fab's chairman, president and chief executive officer, nor Stephen Gottdiener, president of Andrex, would comment on the report. Fab is the U.S.'s fifth largest knitter; Andrex is one of the premier circular novelty knitters in the U.S. "I think it would be a good move for Fab, because Andrex is a top supplier of novelty fabrics, particularly jacquards," said an executive from a knitting firm who requested anonymity. "[Jacquards] are something that haven't been one of Fab's strengths, although they do a lot of other things very well." Fab, a warp and circular knitter, specializes in nylon tricots, flannels, suedes, novelty fabrics, fleeces, meshes and various types of laces. Some of its novelties are done as double knits. The firm has knitting facilities in Amsterdam, N.Y., and the North Carolina cities of Lincolnton, Maiden, Cherryville and Salisbury. Fab posted sales of $189.6 million for the fiscal year ended Nov. 27, 1993. It is expected to announce its 1994 figures later this month. In the nine months ended Aug. 27, earnings fell 16.6 percent to $10.2 million as sales declined 3.5 percent to $137.9 million. Andrex is privately held and doesn't release sales figures. Industry executives said the firm does between $35 million and $45 million. Andrex has facilities in Asheville and Zebulon, N.C.
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