Amantea Nonwovens will provide speciality nonwovens to P&G's North American nappies and global tampon businesses via a distribution agreement with BBA Fiberweb, an existing strategic P&G nonwovens supplier.
Amantea Nonwovens will be responsible for managing all logistics in the new contract. BBA Fiberweb will continue to be the manufacturer of this material for the period of the contract.
During the 18 month distribution agreement, Amantea Nonwovens will build internal capability and construct a new nonwovens line to produce nonwovens materials for P&G.
Plans are being finalised for a longer term supply agreement between Amantea Nonwovens and P&G that includes a new plant in Ohio.
"This agreement between majority companies P&G and BBA will enable Amantea to be the first African American-owned company in this industry," said Amantea Nonwoven's chief executive officer Kevin Lynch.
"We deeply appreciate the full support of P&G and BBA Fiberweb. They are to be commended for their commitment to minority business enterprises."
P&G spends approximately US$700 million (€566 m) annually on nonwoven material. Nonwovens are used in the manufacture of personal care products such as Pampers and baby wipes, Always, Tampax, Swiffer, Bounce, Olay Daily Facials and ThermaCare.
"Getting a minority-owned supplier into nonwovens has been one of our key priorities over the past year," said director of P&G's global baby care purchases organisation Camille Chammas.
"P&G has an aggressive programme to deliver US$1.5 billion (€1.2 bn) in annual minority business spending by July 2005. Breakthroughs such as this project are key to achieving that goal," added Chammas.
"We are finalising our plans for the production operation," said Amantea Nonwoven's chief operating officer Sorin Crainic. "Key right now is to finalise our financing plans and sign a production agreement in order to begin ordering equipment," Crainic continued.
"It is amazing to me how far we have come since we first met with P&G. We can't thank P&G and BBA enough for their support."
"BBA has had a long and fruitful relationship with Procter & Gamble and is pleased to help support such beneficial initiatives such as this," said chief executive officer of BBA Fiberweb Ross McMillan.
In addition to the distribution agreement, BBA Fiberweb has also provided executive-on-loan Dennis Tavernetti, who is currently serving a two-year term as Chairman of INDA, the North American Nonwovens Industry Association.
"P&G's efforts to link Amantea with existing industry suppliers was key to this coming together," said Tavernetti. "The investment and technology needed to penetrate this industry is substantial, which helps to explain the lack of a minority presence until now. As Chairman of INDA I am pleased to welcome Amantea into the nonwovens industry."