Page last updated at 14:26 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 15:26 UK

Cashmere takeover 'economy boost'

cashmere worker
The firm produces cashmere for some of the world's largest fashion houses

The takeover of a historic textiles company by a leading Chinese firm has been hailed as a vote of confidence in the Scottish economy.

Todd & Duncan, a 142-year-old cashmere spinning business, was sold by Dawson International to the Ningxia Zhongyin Cashmere Company earlier this year.

The £6.1m deal secured about 200 jobs at the Kinross-based firm.

First Minister Alex Salmond said the move strengthened Scotland's reputation as a leader in luxury fabrics.

He was joined on a visit to the mill by Ma Shengguo, the chairman of the Ningxia Zhongyin Cashmere Company and Li Jianjun, of the municipal government of Lingwu, Ningxia to mark the deal.

'Unprecedented challenges'

Mr Salmond said: "Todd & Duncan have a proud history of producing luxury cashmere on the banks of Loch Leven for use in the world's top fashion houses.

"I am delighted that the future of one of Scotland's leading textile manufacturers and around 200 highly-skilled employees has been secured by Ningxia Zhongyin, which is China's leading cashmere company, producing fibre, yarn and garments."

The first minister said that the cashmere industry employed about 4,000 people in Scotland, contributing almost £200m to the country's economy.

He added: "This acquisition ensures a bright future for Todd & Duncan as one of the world's leading spinners of quality cashmere yarn and strengthens Scotland's global reputation as a leader in luxury fabrics, cashmere knitwear and designer brands."

Jack Perry, the chief executive of Scottish Enterprise also hailed the deal, describing it as "excellent news and a vote of confidence for the Scottish economy at a time when we are all facing the unprecedented challenges of the global downturn".

Meanwhile Mr Shengguo praised the quality of the yarns produced by the "skilled and talented workforce" at Kinross.

He said: "With their support and effort, I believe that we can overcome any challenges that lie ahead and develop Todd & Duncan to its full potential."



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