Thread and technical textiles maker American & Efird has been sold to investment company KPS Capital Partners for US$180m in cash.

Owner Ruddick Corporation, which also runs the Harris Teeter US regional supermarket chain, said it expected the deal to close by the end of its fiscal first quarter on 1 January.

“This transaction allows the management team and their associates at A&E to continue to pursue their strategic plan of transforming A&E into a more Asian-centric enterprise, which has been years in the making,” said Thomas Dickson, chairman, president and CEO of Ruddick.

A&E is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of industrial sewing thread, embroidery thread and technical textiles.