Conso International Corporation today announced the acquisition of Wm. E. Wright, LP of West Warren, Mass. and its subsidiary, Lending Textile, Inc, of Montgomery, Pa. Wrights is a well known supplier of ribbons, craft and apparel trimmings, packaged tapes, and quilting and sewing notions to major retail chains under the brand names of Wrights, EZ Quilting, Boye and Bondex.

Wrights, founded in 1897, is one of the oldest names in consumer products in the US. Its customers included all of the major fabric chain stores. The last twelve months net sales exceeded $70m. Mike Fuss, who has been with Wrights for fifteen years, has been designated Wrights' COO.

Conso, the world's largest producer of decorative trimmings for home furnishings, is a global consumer products company, based in Union, SC, with manufacturing facilities in the US, the UK, Mexico, and India. Conso also sells decorative window hardware and accessories, as well as instructional publications. Simplicity Pattern Company, a Conso subsidiary acquired in 1998, is a leader in designing and producing home sewing patterns for apparel, home decor, crafts and costumes for the US and international markets. Simplicity produces eight consumer catalogues each year. Conso's last twelve months consolidated net sales exceeded $115m.

Conso's President and CEO, Cary Findlay, said: "The acquisition and merger of our two great companies takes Conso to a new level as a consumer products company. With Wright's strengths in the retail market and Conso's in the distributor and industrial markets, the combined companies will be unequalled in its service capabilities and product offering to its customers."

Cal Gauss, Wright's President and CEO, will become Conso's executive vice president, with primary responsibility for the consolidation of the companies. Mr Gauss said: "There are many benefits for both companies in this merger. Expanded product breadth, the opportunity to cross-merchandise Wrights products in the Simplicity catalogues, greater penetration into the three major market areas, and a combined sales force of twenty five sales managers in the US, to name a few."

Conso, which went private in March of this year, is owned by Citicorp Venture Capital and certain members of management.