Burlington Industries, Cone Mills Merge Operations

Cone Mills and Burlington Industries will be combined to form International Textile Group (ITG), announced Wilbur L. Ross, chairman of W.L. Ross & Co., New York, which acquired both textile makers out of bankruptcy recently. Combined revenue of the two Greensboro, N.C.-based entities is about $900 million. Ross is chairman of ITG. Its president and CEO is Joseph Gorga, who was president and CEO of Burlington Industries. Ross is also chairman of International Steel Group Inc., a Cleveland-based steelmaker W.R. Ross & Co. formed in 2002 after purchasing many of the assets of the bankrupt LTV Steel. "ITG is already a major player in the U.S. and Mexico and intends to internationalize further," Ross said. "I will be going to China [this] week to discuss a wide range of topics with government and industries there. If our government creates a NAFTA-friendly Central American Free Trade Agreement and involves the quotas contained in China's [World Trade Organization] accession agreement, any international initiative would be additive to our business rather than replacing U.S. operations."

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