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Fiberweb Announces Two Asian Joint Ventures

March 3, 2008

Roll goods producer establishes partners in China, India

Fiberweb has entered into two separate joint venture agreements in China and India. In China, the nonwovens producer is investing $2.5 million in a 30-year joint venture with Tianjin Hengguan Nonwoven Company Limited, a Chinese spunbonded polyester manufacturer. Fiberweb will own 65% of the venture which will benefit from Fiberweb's expertise in polyester spunbond fabrics.

In India, Fiberweb has formed a joint venture with a group of local individual investors, which will establish the first premium geotextile manufacturer in India, exploiting Fiberweb’s Terram brand of geotextiles. Under the terms of the agreement, Fiberweb will upgrade and sell its currently idled Terram line, located in Pontypool, U.K., to the joint venture and allow it to license the Terram trademark. Fiberweb will own 26% of the venture and will receive £1.35 million in cash for the line and the license. The upgraded Terram line is expected to be relocated to a new site by the first quarter of 2009.

In other news, Fiberweb has announced its 2007 revenues decreased from £499.9 million in 2006 to £473.6 million based on continuing operations. Meanwhile, the company’s operating loss has grown from £35.3 million to £89.3 million.
Despite this, the company remains optimistic that its turnaround program has continued, establishing sound foundations for progress in 2008. Additionally, the company’s industrial business, which grew 4.6% last year, continues to grow in importance, now representing 42% of total revenues, up from 32% in 2005.

 “2007 was a challenging first year as a public company. We continued to pursue the turnaround program outlined at demerger and have made progress in maintaining growth in our differentiated industrial businesses and simplifying the hygiene portfolio,” said CEO Daniel Dayan.

In January, Fiberweb announced that fellow nonwovens producer Avgol was conducting due diligence in connection to a possible purchase of the company. This process is continuing, according to reports.

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