Article Number: 1636
FCNews Year In Review, March 2006 - Mohawk to buy Propex plant
Calhoun, Ga.—Mohawk Industries has agreed to purchase a plant from Propex Fabrics located in Roanoke, Ala., that produces secondary carpet backing. The plant, formerly owned by BP prior to being spun off under the Propex moniker, employs approximately 470 people. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Jeff Lorberbaum, Mohawk’s chairman and CEO, said the mill bought the Propex plant that was configured to meet Mohawk’s specific backing needs. “Propex Fabrics has long been a major supplier of secondary carpet backing to Mohawk. It has earned a reputation as a solid manufacturing organization for quality, service and value.”

The acquisition by Mohawk is the company’s most recent involving a carpet backing plant. In February of 2005, the mill purchased the assets Wayn-Tex, then operator of manufacturing facilities in Waynesboro and Hillsville, Va., and employer of approximately 550 people (FCNews, Feb. 21/28). This, combined with the new capacity in Alabama, will supply most of Mohawk’s product mix requirements, noted Lorberbaum. Both facilities produce backing (primary and secondary) as well as Optiback, Mohawk’s premium carpet backing.

Optiback is three times denser than traditional carpet backing, he noted, yielding greater strength, better warranties and easier installation. “The advantage to the softer, denser backing is less risk of wall or baseboard damage during installation. The smoother backing also means that installation is easier because installers don’t have to exert as much effort to move the carpet around on the floor.” Mohawk Optiback is used with the mill’s better goods.

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