Intimate apparel maker Hanesbrands has signed a deal to buy its first company-owned Asian sewing plant.

The 93,000-sq-ft plant is located in Chonburi, about 50 miles southeast of Bangkok, and has approximately 1,600 workers. 

The factory, which now operates as part of Goldindo International, will make bras under various Hanesbrands names including Hanes, Playtex and Bali. The brands are sold mainly in the US market.

Goldindo is a contract supplier to Hanesbrands, which was recently spun off from Sara Lee, and its Chonburi plant currently makes bras for the company.

Terms of the plant purchase will not be made public, the company said. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of next month.

"Adding company-owned sewing capability in Asia is a key component of our ongoing efforts to create a low-cost global supply chain," said Hanesbrands CEO Richard A Noll.

"We have made significant progress in our multi-year supply chain initiative by driving cost-reduction and flexibility improvements in the Western Hemisphere. We also are moving quickly to develop a greater presence for our supply chain in Asia."

Hanesbrands sources raw materials and finished products in the emerging Asian market through sourcing operations based in Hong Kong and offices in China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Turkey.

The group also sells apparel products in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea and the Philippines.

"We look forward to adding the Chonburi sewing plant to our supply chain. The operation has an established, well-trained work force and seasoned management team with whom we have already partnered to source products," said Gerald Evans, Hanesbrands executive VP and chief global supply chain officer.

Hanesbrands has shown it is eager to grow its business globally after taking its Hanes brand to the Chinese market 18 months ago.

It has also been downsizing production and consolidating distribution in the US.