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Colombo - Hayleys Fabrics, a subsidiary of Hayleys group has bought a 98.84 per cent stake in Sri Lankan circular knitter, South Asia Textiles Limited.

The 3.953 billion rupees (US$28 million) deal includes a 97.68 per cent stake from publicly traded Ambeon Holdings Limited and a further 1.16 percent from a minority shareholder.

Over the last few years, South Asia Textile has embarked on an overhaul of its machinery portfolio with an investment of more than Rs 1 billion (around US$7 million) which included the latest knitting technology from Italy's Santoni and Singapore's Unitex. The investment also included new printing machines and finishing equipment from Stork, Santex and Fong's.

The company currently produces around 800,000kg of fabric per month including dyed fabric, printed fabric and brushed /suede fabric of yarn dyed fabric. Fabric types include 100% cotton, 100% polyester, cotton/polyester blends and spandex.

At the moment, the plant operates 115 circular and eight flat knitting machines with about 60 per cent double jersey machines and the remainder single jersey.

With customers that incudes a number of the world's leading brands, such as Victoria Secret PINK, Next, Marks & Spencer, PVH/Calvin Klein and Columbia Sportswear, Hayley's will use the acquisition to expand its exports of higher value added fabric.

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