Leigh Fibers plans to buy J.E. Herndon

Welford, South Carolina-based Leigh Delaware Holdings, the parent company of Leigh Fibers and ICE Recycling, has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire J.E. Herndon Co., a privately held textile reprocessor. The deal is expected to close in January.

Based in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, J.E. Herndon specializes in the sourcing, conversion and marketing of cotton and other sustainable textile fibers and byproducts.

“We are excited to take this next strategic step in our growth journey through the acquisition of J.E. Herndon,” said Don Bockoven, president and chief executive officer of Leigh Fibers and ICE Recycling. “This acquisition complements our overall service and product offerings while adding to our capacity and geographic presence.”

The expertise and capability that J.E. Herndon have built over the past 90 years in the cotton area aligns with Leigh’s vision of becoming a globally preferred provider of sustainable recycled solutions across diverse markets, materials and product lines, said Patrick Mullen, president and owner of J.E. Herndon.

“Consumers, industry and governments worldwide are clear in their demand for sustainable solutions for all of their fiber-based products,” Mullen said. “Leigh’s commitment to be the leader in this space provides the ideal environment through which J.E. Herndon can best leverage its dedicated workforce and recycling capabilities in the sourcing, conversion and marketing of cotton and other sustainable fibers.”

The acquisition of J.E. Herndon follows Leigh Delaware Holdings’ 2014 acquisition of ICE Recycling based in Lake City, South Carolina. ICE Recycling reprocesses postindustrial polymers, cardboard, paper and metals for companies throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Founded in 2008, the company provides on-site waste stream management, as well as off-site reprocessing services.

Leigh Fibers, headquartered in Wellford, South Carolina, manufactures, trades and reprocesses fibers and polymers worldwide. The company traces its roots back to the 1880s, when its predecessor, John Leigh & Co., began recycling and reselling cotton waste throughout Europe.