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Judge OKS Sale of Drypers’ Assets

March 2, 2001

HOUSTON (AP) _ A U.S Bankruptcy Court judge has approved the sale of diaper maker Drypers Corp.’s business units to four separate buyers for a total of $69.5 million.

But the sale proceeds will not cover the $240 million the company owed creditors when it filed for bankruptcy protection on October.

Drypers makes its own brand of diapers and private-label products for retailers like Wal-Mart and Kroger.

Judge William Greendyke approved Thursday the last and largest of the deals, the $38.5 million sale of Drypers’ North American business unit to Hong Kong-based diaper maker DSG International.

Houston-based Drypers’ chief financial officer, Brian Fontana, said the company’s presence here will disappear. It has whittled its Houston work force from 80 to 40 since October.

Some workers will be offered jobs with DSG’s U.S. headquarters in Georgia, Fontana said.

On Wednesday, Greendyke approved the sale of Drypers’ South American operations to Mexico-based Stronger Corp. and its Puerto Rican operations to Irving-based Kimberly-Clark.

Navis Capital Partners is buying Drypers’ Malaysian operations under a deal approved last week.

All four sales could be complete by next week and a hearing to divide proceeds among several debtors is set for May 8.

Drypers began in 1987 and enjoyed early success until the mid-1990s, when a price war waged by industry giants Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark took a heavy toll.

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