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Manufacturing New Castle County News

Investment firms acquire Lycra Co. after default

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CEO Julien Born will continue to lead The Lycra Company after it exits a receivership process following a prior debt default. | PHOTO COURTESY OF LYCRA COMPANY

NEWARK – The Lycra Company, a major textile company that supplies the apparel and personal care industries, has been acquired by a group of private equity investors following a troubled period for the company.

Headquartered off Red Mill Road near Newark, Lycra has been operating under a receivership process that began in February after its former parent company, Hong Kong-based Ruyi Textile and Fashion International Group Limited, fell into default on its loans related to its own acquisition of Lycra in 2019.

The terms of the private acquisition by the new shareholder group were not disclosed.

Included in the new ownership group are Lindeman Asia and Lindeman Partners Asset Management, a South Korean venture capital fund; Tor Investment Management, a private alternative asset manager based in Hong Kong; and China Everbright Limited, another Hong Kong-based asset investment firm.

Well-known for the stretchy, form-fitting material that has become ubiquitous with yoga pants, Lycra is an offshoot of DuPont dating back to the ‘50s. The Delaware chemical and materials titan sold its Apparel & Advanced Textiles unit to Koch Industries in 2004 for $4.4 billion, the last time a public valuation of the company was made. Ruyi acquired Lycra from Koch subsidiary Invista in 2019.

Lycra continues to heavily market its Lycra, Coolmax and Thermolite brands and holds over 800 patents that have helped it build long-standing strategic relationships with most leading producers, brands, and retailers.

With its new ownership and governance in place, Lycra will “continue to focus on accelerating the implementation of its vision, including sustainable solutions that advance circularity, strategic technology partnerships to develop and scale up a wider range of innovative materials, and ongoing digital transformation initiatives.”

“I am thrilled to have the full support of our new shareholders and incoming board of directors as we begin the next chapter in The Lycra Company’s story,” CEO Julien Born said in a statement announcing the acquisition. “This new ownership structure provides the necessary backing from experienced investment professionals who share our long-term vision.”

The coalition of new shareholders, who have a track record of financing and investing in companies across Asia and globally and working with boards on business and operational plans to enhance long-term value creation, reportedly are “committed to further helping The Lycra Company strengthen its financial position and enable its long-term growth.”

“We fully support The Lycra Company’s world-class management team and their continued stewardship of The Lycra Company,” an unnamed spokesperson for the private equity firms said in the press release. “The Lycra Company is in a strong financial position and has a solid foundation for long-term growth.”

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