April 28, 1998

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces Two Multinational Plant Expansions for Henry County
-- Readicut International finalizes dual operations for Martinsville Industrial Park - -

Richmond - Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore today announced the expansion of two manufacturing plants in Henry County. Readicut International PLC, a leading product supplier to the European automotive market, finalized plans for Specialty Coatings Limited and Drake Extrusion, Inc., to begin operations this summer. Specialty Coatings Limited, a new wall coverings coating plant, will initially hire 30 full time employees with an investment of $8 million. In addition, Drake Extrusion's Duron Continuous Filament will increase its production capacity by 50 percent at its Henry County facility.

"These two expansions confirm that Virginia is committed to existing industry," said Governor Gilmore. "Virginia's dedicated workforce and positive business climate paved the way for these economic development achievements."

Drake Extrusion began its 100-employee operation in the fall of 1995 in the Martinsville Industrial Park and will begin immediate construction of a new facility to accommodate significant growth. Drake's recent contract acquisition with a major automotive industry manufacturer will enhance the company's association with the "Big Three" auto manufacturers in Detroit.

"We are moving forward as quickly as possible to bring this additional capacity on line," said Geoff Schofield, Chief Executive Officer of Drake.

Specialty Coatings Limited will support the established North American growth record of its sister company Specialty Coatings (Brantford) Limited. The company will occupy a significant section of Drake Extrusion's facility with plans to make Henry County home for its US headquarters.

"The capability for further expansion will be designed into the new facility, giving us a long-term opportunity to capitalize on predicted growth", said Ian Knighton, Divisional Chairman of Specialty Coatings Limited.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Patrick Henry Development Council, Henry County and the City of Martinsville Department of Economic Development assisted Readicut International with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services to both companies.

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