In what is thought to be Bangladesh's largest ever private sell-off, the Square Group has agreed to sell its Square Knit Fabrics and Square Fashions to SQ Group in a deal worth Tk1.95 billion (US$34 million).

The SQ Group already has stakes in ready-made garment industry and claims to be Bangladesh's largest sweater manufacturer and exporter. It says the acquisition will help cement its position in the country's garment sector ahead of the quota-free, post-Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA) regime beginning on 1 January 2005.

The SQ Group exports 65 per cent of its products to Europe - mainly the UK, Spain, Sweden, Germany and France. 30 per cent is exported to the USA, and the rest to Canada and Japan.

Its main customers are GAP in the USA, Marks & Spencer, George, Mackay's, Littlewoods and Jeff & Co in the UK, H&M in Sweden, Mango and Zara in Spain, and Auchan and Camaieu in France.

Although details have just been announced, both parties reached an agreement on the sell-off on 21 September 2003.