Textured yarn maker Unifi Inc has sold its stake in its loss-making Chinese joint venture Yihua Unifi Fibre Industry Co Ltd for $9m.

The 50% share has been bought by its joint venture partner Sinopec Yizheng Chemical Fiber Co Ltd, which helped set up the company in 2005 to manufacture, process, and market polyester filament yarns.

The move will enable Unifi to focus on premium value-added (PVA) yarns, which will be supplied to customers in Asia  through its wholly-owned subsidiary based in Suzhou, China, called Unifi Textiles Suzhou Co Ltd (UTSC). 

"UTSC provides Unifi with the flexibility and speed-to-market required to respond to the needs of our customers in Asia," said Roger Berrier, executive vice president of Unifi. 

"And now with the sale of our joint venture, UTSC will continue to expand the sales and promotion of the company's specialty and PVA products, while aggressively focusing on global product commercialisation of new and existing products."

New textile products that will be launched through UTSC include Sorbtek moisture management performance yarns and its Repreve recycled polyester staple fibre for use in spun yarns.