Workers buy AECI nylon unit to save jobs

Management and workers of nylon maker Sans Fibres have bought the company from JSE-listed chemicals group AECI in a bid to save 1500 jobs.

Management and workers of nylon maker Sans Fibres have bought the company from JSE-listed chemicals group AECI in a bid to save 1500 jobs.

AECI said in its December results that it planned to dispose of Sans Fibres along with other loss making units.

No financial details were given except that the deal is being financed by the Industrial Development Corporation which is taking a 15percent equity stake besides providing a loan.

AECI said in a statement to the JSE that the sale offer was for the entire fibres business situated at Bellville in the Western Cape and in North Carolina in the US.

While the company did not disclose the selling price, it said the purchase would be largely financed by the IDC, which will provide debt and equity finance.

AECI said early in December that Sans Fibres would discontinue the production of nylon high decitex industrial (HDI), polyester HDI and polyester light decitex industrial (LDI) yarn.

At the time, AECI listed several reasons for Sans Fibres' lack of profitability, among them an over-investment in polyester HDI and LDI yarn plants, mainly in the Far East, which has resulted in surplus capacity and low prices.

Besides the significantly lower cost base of manufacturers in the Far East, the company acknowledged that it had been unable to recover increasing raw material costs in full from customers.

Closure costs for its Sans Fibres business shaved R108million off AECI's after tax profits last year. - I-Net Bridge

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