In a bid to consolidate distribution of its manmade suede fabric in the Americas, TORAY INDUSTRIES, INC. paid $15 million to acquire the Ultrasuede marketing business of SPRINGS INDUSTRIES, INC. Since 1971, the big Fort Mill, South Carolina manufacturer of sheets and towels has sold Toray Industries' synthetic suede Ecsaine under the Ultrasuede brand name. It handles well over half of the 1.6 million square yards of Ecsaine sold in the Americas annually; the rest is shipped directly from Japan or from a Toray Industries subsidiary in Italy. Having taken over the Ultrasuede trademark, the Japanese textile maker formed TORAY ULTRASUEDE (AMERICA), INC. in New York City to oversee marketing of its product. Most of the people working for Springs Industries in the Ultrasuede business moved over to the new company.
An exchange rate of ¥141=$1.00 was used in this report.