TEXFI PLANTS SHUTTING, FIRM TO BE MARKETER

Byline: Scott Malone

NEW YORK — Like a phoenix building its funeral pyre, Texfi Industries Inc. said Wednesday that it will be closing its two remaining manufacturing plants to prepare itself for a new life as a marketing division of Titan Textile Co.
Andrew Parise, chairman and chief executive officer, told WWD Wednesday that the bankrupt New York-based company is commencing an “orderly wind-down” of its Rocky Mount, N.C., and Jefferson, Ga. mills, which together employ about 600 workers.
The company plans to file that plan in Manhattan bankruptcy court, where it filed for Chapter 11 protection in February 2000, on Friday.
But this is not the end of the road for the Texfi name.
Parise said the company has reached an agreement to sell its marketing and merchandising rights to Titan Textile Co., a Paterson, N.J.-based polyester yarn producer that also owns gray fabrics mill NRB Industries. Under that corporate umbrella, Texfi, which Parise said he believes will continue to use its own name, would serve as a fabric sourcing and marketing organization, selling domestic and imported textiles.
“Business isn’t done the old-fashioned way anymore,” he said. “We are going to be sourcing and developing new products and be more competitive by using different facilities as needed, instead of owning one old gray mill. We will be sourcing gray goods from NRB and other gray mills.”
Parise noted that Texfi’s manufacturing equipment is about 25 years old, while NRB’s is about eight.
It’s an operating model similar to that used by most major apparel vendors, like Liz Claiborne Inc. and Jones Apparel Group, which outsource practically all their production.
While the bulk of the company’s manufacturing employees will lose their jobs by December when the plants close, Parise said some of Texfi’s top manufacturing, dyeing and quality control people would be accepting positions with NRB, as well as printers United Piece Dye and Duro by mid-November.
“We’re completing all orders on the books,” he added.
Parise said he expects to serve as president of the yet-to-be-formed Texfi Blends Marketing division, which will continue to operate out of Texfi’s Manhattan offices with about eight employees. While the sale of Texfi’s physical assets will be overseen by the bankruptcy court, Parise said he does not believe Texfi needs court approval to form its new business venture.