CONE EXTENDS CREDIT: Cone Mills Corp. said Wednesday it had extended its $56 million credit facilities through March 2004. The arrangement had been scheduled to end on June 27. The facility includes a $25 million 12 percent senior note and a $31 million revolving variable-rate credit line, on which Cone is currently calling about 8.1 percent in increase. The Greensboro, N.C.-based company also said it settled $4.1 million in equity appreciation rights it had granted as part of an earlier credit agreement, paying off the rights at half face value in cash, along with stock and other compensation. As a result of the settlement, the company expects to record a $4.1 million charge to its second-quarter earnings.

Chief financial officer Gary Smith said the credit extension “provides the time necessary to evaluate potential business opportunities that would allow us to execute our long-term vision and propose a comprehensive plan for a long-term capital structure.”

TEXTILES 101: Philadelphia University will host Basic Textiles, a seminar to provide an introduction to textile products from raw material through finished fabrics, on its campus June 23-27. Part of the school’s Continuing and Professional Studies, the seminar is recommended by the school for management personnel and trainees employed in textile and apparel-related fields. The program, which includes 11 workshops, will emphasize the basic language, process flow and performance characteristics of textile material and will be led by faculty members from the university’s School of Textiles and Materials Technology.

PHAT FETE: The retail, fashion and textile division of The National Conference for Community and Justice awarded Rush Communications chairman and chief executive officer Russell Simmons the 2003 Humanitarian Award at a luncheon May 20 at Manhattan’s Grand Hyatt Hotel. Simmons founded the Phat Farm clothing line in 1998 and runs Phat Fashions, which includes the women’s line, Baby Phat. The NCCJ also honored Keith Nagy, director of filament at Celanese Acetate, with the 2003 retail, fashion and textile leadership award. Textile industry executives including Saxon Textile Corp. president Gail Strickler, De Marco California principal Pearl Ann Marco, Tencel vice president Ellen Flynn and Textile Distributors Association executive director Bruce Roberts attended the annual luncheon, among others.

“What we’re doing is acknowledging a worthwhile cause,” said Roberts, who emceed the luncheon. “You’re not born to bigot. We have to educate the public for tolerance.”Since charity is not always enough, Roberts said, this year’s honorees were chosen for the time and effort they’ve given to promoting diversity with their companies, communities and families.

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