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Monday, 10 September 2001  
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Speedo swimwear in joint venture with MAS holdings

Speedo International, the world's leading Swimwear manufacturer will come to Sri Lanka in a joint venture with MAS Holdings Limited, the largest manufacturers of intimate apparel in the country. Speedo will invest in Linea Aqua (Pvt) Limited an exclusive Swimwear manufacturing plant which is a BOI approved project. The project is expected to be valued at approximately USD 8.5 million.

The entrance of Speedo signals the first joint venture, the MAS Group has entered into with a leading sportswear manufacturer. Linea Aqua (Pvt) Limited is a three-way joint venture between Speedo International, MAS Group and Brandot International in the US. Each shareholder will hold a joint stake of 33.1/3% of the total equity.

The plant, for which the foundation stone was laid yesterday will initially commence operation with employee base of 500. This figure is expected to increase to 1,000 within two years and 2,000 by the year 2005, based on projected volumes of production.

While the plant would primarily manufacture Swimwear for Speedo International and Victoria's Secret, it is envisaged that several other leisure Swimwear manufacture's would use this state-of-the-art facility for production as well.

Manufacturing for Speedo International which begins with a basic competition swimwear is expected to progress to manufacture Speedo's patented, state-of-the-art, 'fast-skin' bodysuits in which 27 of 33 Olympic Gold Medals were won during the Sydney Olympics in 2000. The company has set its target to manufacture these custom tailored suits for athletes competing in the 2004 Athens Olympics and is confident of achieving this goal.

Linea Aqua (Pvt) Limited is also expected to become the primary manufacturing base for Speedo Swimwear globally with a down scaling of Speedo's manufacture in China and Thailand. The plant is expected to be commercially operational by March 2002.

MAS Holdings with a turnover of USD 225 million for 2000 has brought in USD 125 million in investments to the country's apparel sector. Its latest ventures, Textured Jersey Lanka (Pvt) Limited, Prym Newey Lanka (Pvt) Limited and Linea Aqua (Pvt) Limited collectively amount for an inflow of approximately USD 10 million. During the year 2000 the group accounted for 4.7% of the country's total exports.

Crescat Development Ltd.

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