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EX-IM BANK APPROVES INCREASED PRELIMINARY LOAN GUARANTEE FOR MALDEN MILLS

Board Increases Figure to $35 Million As Requested by Company

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 7, 2004

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Phil Cogan or Bo Ollison, 202.565.3200

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) today unanimously approved an amended preliminary commitment request for Malden Mills Industries, Inc. for a working capital loan guarantee of $35 million to support export sales of its specialty fabrics, including Polartec®, to the United Kingdom, France and Korea.


In August 2003 the board approved a preliminary commitment of up to $20 million.In December 2003, Ex-Im Bank received a request to consider a higher level of financing for the company.This request included updatedinformation on the company's current level of operations and the status of negotiations with creditors.Ex-Im Bank has been informed that other, additional sources of financing are also evaluating the company.


By increasing the amount of the Bank's preliminary commitment to Malden Mills, Ex-Im Bank has taken a strong stand in support of an important U.S. exporter and its workers, said Philip Merrill, Ex-Im Bank president and chairman. This $35 million preliminary commitment is more than any other lender has committed to date, Merrill noted.

The board approved the preliminary commitment with modifications.The modifications included extending the repayment term and making additional collateral available for financing by other lenders. All members of the board believe the modifications provide strong support for former owner Aaron Feuerstein's efforts to attract other lenders and investors, finalize the transaction, and maintain jobs in the U.S.


Preliminary commitments for loan guarantees may be converted to final commitments by vote of the Ex-Im Bank board of directors after the company has finalized its financing package and application.


Malden Mills employs approximately 1,200 workers and historically has sold nearly half of its products to international clients.


Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 70th year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2003, Ex-Im Bank, an independent federal agency, authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.For more information on Ex-Im Bank visit //www.exim.gov/.