WASHINGTON — Aaron Feuerstein’s continuing effort to buy back Malden Mills Industries Inc. got a $35 million boost on Thursday.

Feuerstein, the Lawrence, Mass.-based company’s former chief executive officer, spent much of last year trying to assemble the financing to buy the company that he had run for three decades. When it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, ownership of the mill passed to its former creditors, led by GE Capital.

On Thursday, the U.S. Export-Import Bank voted to guarantee loans of $35 million to help the maker of Polartec fleece to increase foreign sales. That allows Feuerstein to seek loans from commercial banks, which would have to underwrite the production of products to be exported.

The unanimous decision by the bank’s four-person board follows an earlier decision in August when they approved only $20 million in guarantees. A spokesman for the bank said the guarantees were increased after Feuerstein, who has a 5 percent stake in the company, provided more corporate financial information.

If Feuerstein had been able to amass the financing before the company exited bankruptcy, the sale price would have been $94 million. It has since risen to $125 million.

In an Export-Import Bank news release, bank president and chairman Philip Merrill noted the $35 million in loan guarantees “is more than any lender has committed to date” to Malden after its bankruptcy exit, but offered no other specifics.

Feuerstein, who retains the non-executive roles of chairman and president at Malden, could not be reached for comment.

This story first appeared in the January 9, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.