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Grupo Karim’s joins Nicaragua’s textile industry
Apparel manufacturing giant Grupo Karim’s acquired Cone Denim Mills Nicaragua in a US$35 million deal and will start operations on November 1st.
The free zone plant, now to be called Pride Denim Mills, will create around 600 direct jobs initially, and up to 3,000 jobs when operating at full capacity. The official production process should begin by January 2014 and the mills are expected to produce about 28 million yards of denim annually.
Amdani Yusuf, President of Grupo Karim’s in Central America, said they are planning to produce more than just denim; two years from now they expect to expand their investment to a complete garment production process. This would add woven fabric and garments to their already strong vertical knit operations.
Grupo Karim’s is a leading textile firm with headquarters in Honduras, where they have thread, textile and sewing mills. They also have operations in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, the United States and Pakistan, but Nicaragua will be their first denim mill.
This new investment complements Nicaragua’s growing textile industry, which generates about 105,000 direct jobs and is responsible for US$700 million of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Also, free zones exports for 2012 reached US$2,327.1 million, of which 58 percent corresponded to the textile sector.
Cone Denim mills had ceased operations in 2009, due to decrease in orders from the United States, which was its main buyer, due to the financial crisis of that period. The company employed 800 people directly at the time.