Fitesa-Fiberweb Bring HQ, Expansion to Greenville County

GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC, September 2, 2009 — The Greenville Area Development Corporation and FitesaFiberweb Simpsonville, Inc. have finalized plans for FitesaFiberweb to make a capital investment in excess of $100 million over 5 years. FitesaFiberweb Simpsonville is a newly formed joint venture between Fiberweb, a nonwovens manufacturing company that has operated its nonwovens manufacturing facility in Simpsonville for over 20 years, and Petropar, a Brazilian industrial conglomerate that operated its nonwovens business through its Fitesa subsidiary.

Executives announced today that FitesaFiberweb will construct two state-of-the-art manufacturing lines in Simpsonville, South Carolina that will produce lightweight nonwovens for the hygiene products industry and will create at least 67 new jobs in Simpsonville. The manufacturing plant, located at 840 SE Main Street in Simpsonville, will also serve as the corporate headquarters for FitesaFiberweb.

The joint venture, which also includes manufacturing facilities in Washington State, Mexico and Brazil, is the second largest hygiene nonwovens manufacturer in the Americas.

“We are delighted that Fitesa and Fiberweb have been able to create this imaginative venture swiftly and smoothly,” said FitesaFiberweb CFO Hal Singley, Jr. “We share a common interest in implementing a model that focuses scarce capital on cost-effective investment to meet customers’ needs for leading-edge products on a regional and global basis, and that allows economies of scale to be achieved.”

“This partnership with an existing South Carolina company brings opportunity for both an existing business and a new investor in our state. While Fitesa’s investment will be made in a new location, this joint venture still affords new employment opportunities for the entire Upstate region. Thanks to the team efforts of state and local leaders, a South Carolina company will grow and new job opportunities will be available for our residents,” said Joe Taylor, Secretary of Commerce.

"FitesaFiberweb’s decision to launch their joint venture here in Greenville County is great news,” added H.G. “Butch” Kirven, chairman of Greenville County Council. "This is an outstanding organization and this venture brings with it more good jobs for our citizens. This new investment affirms that specialty textile manufacturing businesses can be successful and thrive here.”

“We’re pleased that the leadership of FitesaFiberweb recognized the great opportunity for long-term success that Greenville County offers their new company,” said Mike Buiter, Chairman of the Greenville Area Development Corporation Board. “As globally respected manufacturers with innovative processes, an international customer base and corporate track records of positive growth, this announcement by FitesaFiberweb is a positive statement for Greenville County’s growing business community.”

Fiberweb plc is a leading international manufacturer of specialty nonwoven materials, with a total of 16 plants operating in eight countries across Europe, North America (including Tennessee and Wisconsin) and Asia. The Group comprises businesses supplying tailored solutions to Industrial and Hygiene nonwovens markets and has revenues approaching $1 billion and approximately 2,000 employees worldwide. Shares of Fiberweb plc are traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “FWEB.”
Petropar, a listed Brazilian company, is a holding company for businesses in the packaging and nonwovens segments. Petropar recently contributed its nonwovens business in Brazil to the new joint venture with Fiberweb. Fitesa, comprising Petropar’s nonwoven business, was the third largest producer of spunbond nonwovens in South America at its site at Gravatai, Brazil.
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The Greenville Area Development Corporation is a non-profit organization established by Greenville County Council to promote and enhance the economic growth and development of Greenville County. For additional information, visit us on the web at www.GoGADC.com or call (864) 235-2008.

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