Michel Van de Wiele NV of Marke, Belgium has agreed to acquire the assets of the worldwide Cobble organization from the heirs of Chattanooga industrialist Spencer Wright.
The merger of the textile equipment makers announced today will unite two of the most historic and famous names in textile manufacturing technology - Van de Wiele and Cobble.
Cobble, formerly owned by the Singer sewing machine company, was bought in 1976 by Chattanoogan Spencer Wright who build the textile equipment company into a global maker of Colortec technology and Crabtree weaving machinery. Wright died three years ago.
"The Wright family, shareholders, directors and officers of Spencer Wright Industries Inc. are delighted to honor the wishes of the late Spencer Wright in securing the best possible outcome for the Cobble Group companies and products, thus creating a bright future for its worldwide family of employees under the stewardship of its new owners," the company said in a statement released today.
The activities of the Van de Wiele Group include the manufacturing of high-speed carpet and velvet weaving machines, yarn extrusion machines and electronic Jacquard machines. The Van de Wiele group employs more than 2,500 workers around the globe and generates more than $500 million a year in sales.
The new companies will trade under different titles in different countries:
• In the United Kingdom, the company will be known as Cobble - Van de Wiele Ltd
• In the United States, the company will be known as Cobble, a division of Van de Wiele - Iro Inc.
• In China, the combined firm will be known as Cobble Suzhou (Machinery) Co. Ltd