New Jersey Based Best Manufacturing Group Acquires Artex International

TOTAL FOOD SERVICE
AUGUST 2004


Best Manufacturing Group LLC announced late last month that it has acquired Artex International, Inc. Headquartered in Highland, IL; Artex is a manufacturer and supplier of textiles and garments for the U.S. textile rental and hospitality markets.

Commenting on the acquisition, Scott Korman, Chairman and CEO of Best said, “We are delighted to have the Artex organization join the Best team. The associates of Artex complement Best Manufacturing with over 70 years of knowledge and accomplishments, creating a combined company with the deepest capabilities in the textile rental and hospitality markets. Artex’s institutional product lines, combined with deep manufacturing expertise, world-wide market coverage and accomplished global sourcing will allow us to provide our customers the best product offerings and the most diverse mix of value-added services available in the institutional textiles marketplace anywhere in the world.”

Terry Anderson, Chairman and CEO of Artex, commented that, “As the textile industry goes through what industry analysts say is ‘epochal change’, there is only one company today that is positioned to move forward. Best Manufacturing. Textile Rental companies want a trusted continuous source of product and we are happy to be part of the Best team; no other company is nearly as global in its understanding of quality and delivery.”

Best Manufacturing, founded in 1914, services the textile rental, hospitality, healthcare and image apparel markets with a wide range of products, including, napery, uniforms and other textile products. The company is headquartered in New Jersey and has operations based in Massachusetts, Georgia, South Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Nevada, Canada and Mexico.

The acquisition of Artex is part of Best’s strategy to focus on its core textile and garment businesses, expand product and service offerings and grow through acquisition. This acquisition also represents the realization of Artex’s vision for combining global manufacturing with first rate sales capabilities. In 2002, Best Manufacturing Group acquired H.W. Baker Linen, now functioning as a fully integrated member of the Best family as its hospitality business. Best remains committed to its relationship with Milliken & Company and views the addition of Artex to the team as an asset to an already strong alliance.

Artex International, Inc., which was founded in 1933, is a leading manufacturer and supplier of textiles and garments for the textile rental and hospitality markets in the U.S. and abroad. The company provides the textile rental and hospitality markets with everything from napkins and tablecloths, to garments and aprons to sheets, towels, pillowcases and other textile products. The company is a full line integrated manufacturer from weaving fabric to producing a finished product. Artex is headquartered in Highland, Illinois and has distribution centers and manufacturing facilities in the US, Asia and Mexico.

Terry Anderson, Artex’s existing Chairman and CEO, will lead a newly formed subsidiary of Best as President and CEO, reporting to A Best Chairman and CEO, Scott Korman.

This combination of Best’s institutional business unit and Artex, will conduct business as Best:Artex LLC. The union creates a complimentary business that leverages the global manufacturing and sourcing capabilities of Artex with the napery, garment and sales and distribution strengths of Best. The combined operations will have expansive geographic coverage and the deepest distribution capabilities in the institutional textiles marketplace serving the textile rental, hospitality, and image apparel markets. Customers will benefit from a broader line of product choices, expanded services, a larger field sales force and a combined experience base in the industry that is unrivalled by competitors.

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