Greensboro, N.C.-based textured yarn manufacturer Unifi Inc. has announced plans to establish a
wholly owned subsidiary in China to serve its customers in the region, with start-up expected by
the end of the second quarter of this year.
Unifi Textiles Suzhou Co. Ltd. (UTSC) will develop, sell and provide technical service for
premium value-added yarns, collaborating with downstream textile manufacturers in their development
and supervising production from yarn manufacturers such as the company’s joint venture partner and
initial supplier, or toll manufacturer, Sinopec Yizheng Chemical Fiber Co. Ltd. UTSC may enlist
additional toll manufacturers as needed to expand its available portfolio of yarns — including
existing Unifi brands such as aio®, A.M.Y.®, Mynx®, Reflexx®, Repreve® and Sorbtek® — for regional
customers. Unifi will control intellectual knowledge related to the brands and will monitor
production to ensure compliance with its quality and technical standards.
“Demand for high-value and [premium value-added] yarns in China continues to grow at an
annual rate of greater than 10 percent, and this is the segment UTSC will be solely focused on
supplying,” said Bill Jasper, president and CEO, Unifi. “This shift in strategy in China will
benefit the company by not only removing us from the challenging and unprofitable commodity sector
but [also by providing] us with greater focus and flexibility, faster product innnovation and
enhanced service to customers in the growing [premium value-added] segment.”
Ed Wickes will serve as UTSC’s president and will report to Roger Berrier, Unifi’s executive
vice president for sales, marketing and Asian operations. UTSC’s staff initially will include up to
11 employees providing sales and technical service.