NEW YORK — Malden Mills Industries said it expects to begin building an $80 million fabric manufacturing plant in March in Gorlitz, Germany, its first overseas manufacturing venture. The plan still requires final regulatory approval from the German government and local financing institutions.
The plant, slated to be in production by November, will make the firm’s entire open-line range of 105 Polartec fabrics and will service the European market. Initial shipments will begin by the end of 1995, said Howard Ackerman, Malden’s vice president and general manager, apparel.
Malden, which derives between 33 and 50 percent of its $200 million-plus apparel fabric business from European sales, currently supplies that market from its Lawrence, Mass., plant. Malden has global sales of $400 million, spread almost evenly between apparel and upholstery fabrics. The initial capacity, Ackerman said, will be about 55,000 yards per week, building to about 220,000 yards within three years.
“In order to sustain growth, our global vision dictates that manufacturing take place on a local basis whenever possible,” said Aaron Feuerstein, Malden’s president.
The German operation will be managed by Tony Fernandes and Jerry Bowe, both longtime Malden employees, who, between them, have more than 45 years’ experience at the company. Both are production executives in Lawrence.