Sara Lee Branded Apparel has snapped up two of its suppliers in a move aimed at shoring up its global supply chain.

The company on Tuesday said it has bought National Textiles LLC, a yarn and textile maker based in Winston-Salem, NC, and recently purchased DFK Trading Corporation Ltd, an Asian sourcing company.

Terms of the transactions were not disclosed. 

"As global trade dynamics continue to evolve, control of textile resources is a competitive advantage for large apparel companies," said Gerald Evans, Sara Lee Branded Apparel's chief supply chain officer.

"These acquisitions are good investments for Sara Lee Branded Apparel. We were principal customers of both companies and bringing their capacity in-house will greatly increase our efficiency and speed-to-market in highly competitive apparel categories."
With vertical yarn-to-textile operations, National Textiles employs approximately 2,900 people and is a major supplier of open-end and ring-spun cotton as well as blended yarns and finished tubular fabrics.

It has plants in Rabun Gap, Ga; Mountain City, Tenn; Galax, Va; and Forest City, Gastonia, China Grove, Sanford and Eden, NC. Distribution and warehousing is located in Advance, NC.

Separately, newly acquired DFK Trading Corporation Ltd will operate as DFK International Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sara Lee Branded Apparel. Based in Hong Kong, DFK will source raw materials in the emerging Asian market.

Sara Lee Branded Apparel is currently part of Sara Lee Corporation. However, it is in the process of spinning off as an independent, publicly held company in a transaction that is expected to be completed between July and September 2006.