SARA LEE REVAMPS LIBERTY FABRICS

NEW YORK — Sara Lee Corp. is restructuring its Liberty Fabrics business — paring down the fabric and lace manufacturer’s four plants to one — to focus on production for the Chicago-based firm’s intimate apparel division.
Expected to be completed in April, the action will eliminate about 350 posts from Liberty’s staff of 840. Two manufacturing facilities near Charlottesville, Va., will be closed while a Jamesville, N.C., plant is slated to be sold to McMurray Fabrics, based in Aberdeen, N.C. Terms of the agreement, sealed with a signed letter of intent, were not disclosed.
Sara Lee will exit the lace manufacturing business for external customers and transfer that business to Metritek, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., and Noyon USA, based here.
The remaining wide elastic, lace dyeing and finishing operations, which will serve only Sara Lee, will be consolidated into Liberty’s Woolwine, Va. facility.
Last year Liberty, which was acquired by Sara Lee in June 2000 as part of its purchase of Courtaulds Textiles, generated approximately $130 million in sales to the company’s intimate apparel division and outside customers.
“The restructuring of Liberty Fabrics is consistent with our ongoing reshaping program to divest non-core businesses and to streamline our company’s organizational structure,” said C. Steven McMillan, chairman, president and chief executive of Sara Lee, in a statement.

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