Polartec owner sells company to Milliken
Polartec, the Andover textiles company formerly known as Malden Mills, is changing hands again.
The company, which pioneered the production of synthetic fleece, said Tuesday that it would be acquired by Milliken & Co., a South Carolina company that also makes textiles, as well as specialty chemicals and floor coverings. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Polartec is currently owned by Versa Capital, a private equity firm that bought Malden Mills out of bankruptcy for $44 million in 2007. Versa dropped the Malden Mills name and, after running into financial problems, said it would close the company’s Lawrence mill and shift production to New Hampshire and Tennessee. At the time of the announcement in December 2015, the plant had about 300 workers.
A spokesman for Versa declined to say how many employees Polartec has now or whether the sale would result in job losses.
The Lawrence shutdown was a blow to the city, which had seen the mill destroyed by fire in December 1995. Former owner Aaron Feuerstein continued to pay his workers while he rebuilt.
Malden Mills struggled under the debt from building a new plant and the costs of operating in Massachusetts when competitors had long moved to cheaper places. It filed for bankruptcy during the 2001 recession and again in 2007.