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Western Nonwovens To Sell Assets To SBC

July 15, 2008

WNI has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11.

After pursuing the sale of its assets for the past month, Western Nonwovens, Inc. (WNI), Carson, CA, has agreed to sell a substantial portion of its business to SBC Manufacturing Co. LLC. SBC is a subsidiary of Simmons Bedding Company, one of the world's largest mattress manufacturers operating 23 bedding manufacturing facilities across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

The deal comes after a tumultuous year for WNI, starting with the spin-off of its Cerex spunbond nylon nonwovens business in March 2007. WNI was then sold in June 2007 to Cerberus Capital and GE Capital, but by the following December, the company had closed its Oakland, CA factory. In February, it sold its Commerce, CA factory to Southern Fiber Inc., for an undisclosed price. WNI then closed
its Los Angeles –based Paltex facility, its Clearfield, UT plant and its needlepunching factory in St. Louis, MI.

The sale to SBC includes WNI’s plants in Orlando, FL, Sauget, IL and an option to purchase the Carson, CA plant. The company has also filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The filings were made yesterday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
WNI also announced that it has reached an agreement with its lender to provide debtor-in-possession financing, subject to Bankruptcy Court approval, to fund the its business operations while it completes the sale process. This financing will provide the company the necessary funds to continue operations in the normal course of business; keeping all of the company’s currently operating plants open on normal schedules and fulfilling customer orders.

“We are pleased to have entered into an agreement for the sale of several of WNI’s plants,” said Jonathan Nash, CEO of WNI. “We have carefully reviewed our options and believe that a sale will provide the best long-term prospects for the company’s customers, suppliers and employees.”

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