OWENS CORNING BUYS BALANCE OF KNYTEX

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NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS — Reinforced-fabric supplier Knytex Co. again has a sole owner and a new manager.

Owens Corning has acquired the balance of the Knytex joint venture from Hexcel Corp., the companies said Jan. 9.

Jack Jenks, vice president of Owens Corning and general manager of newly formed Owens Corning Fabrics, oversees the business. Jenks replaces W.C. Turnier, who was general manager. He had held key sales and marketing positions with Owens Corning since 1969.

Knytex employs 160 and produces specialty fabrics of glass fiber and other reinforcements in single or multiple layers at a 215,000-square-foot leased facility. Jenks said Owens Corning will keep the Knytex brand name.

Owens Corning will combine the Texas operation and its San Vicente, Spain, specialty glass fiber fabrics plant to form Owens Corning Fabrics, which is expected to have 1997 sales of more than $50 million. Jenks said specialty fabrics is ``a high-growth, worldwide market'' and that the new combination ``will be a focused global business.''

Knytex was formed in 1975, was briefly part of Shell Oil Co. and became a Hexcel unit in 1987. Hexcel of Stamford, Conn., and Owens Corning of Toledo, Ohio, formed the joint venture as a limited liability company in July 1993.

The venture consolidated activity in New Braunfels in January 1995, moving stitch-bonding reinforcement fabrics from Seguin, Texas, and woven-roving operations from Anderson, S.C.