Gildan Activewear has acquired a yarn supplier to bolster integrated supply chains in its production of garments.

Through one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries, it has bought 100% of the equity interests of Phoenix Sanford, the parent company of Frontier Yarns, for around £127 million (US$168 million) in cash.

Founded in 1996, Frontier is a leading producer of 100% cotton, polyester and cotton blend yarns, primarily manufactured on open-end and vortex (MVS) spinning technology.

During 2021, around 40% of Frontier’s production was dedicated to yarn sold to Gildan for textile manufacturing in Central America and the Caribbean.

The yarn operations of Frontier acquired by Gildan include four facilities in North Carolina employing about 800 people.

Gildan said the deal would allow it to build on its “global vertically integrated supply chain” through further internalising yarn production. It will also support future yarn availability for Gildan’s planned expansion of textile capacity in Central America and the Caribbean.

Glenn J Chamandy, president and CEO of Gildan, said: “As a long-time trusted yarn supplier of Gildan, with a dedicated and experienced workforce, we are delighted to welcome Frontier into the Gildan family.

“In line with our business model of investing in global manufacturing, the acquisition of Frontier’s operations broadens and complements our existing yarn capabilities and provides additional yarn capacity to support long-term growth.”

Robin Perkins, CEO of Frontier Yarns, added: “This acquisition is a testament to the trust Gildan places in our people, their expertise, and our operations and we see this combination as a strong and natural fit.

“Having developed a long-standing relationship with Gildan over the years, we are excited for our employees given this new opportunity for collaboration and growth.”

Gildan manufactures apparel for markets around the world, including the UK, with brands including American Apparel, Comfort Colors, Anvil by Gildan, and Gildan itself.