KoSa Opens Offices in S. America; Waits For Flame Market to Grow

August 2, 2000

Houston, Texas (USA) - KoSa, one of the world's leading producers of polyester and flame-retardant textiles, has opened sales offices in São Paulo, Brazil, and Guatemala City, Guatemala, as part of a move to expand its presence in Latin America. According to a company press release, both locations will offer KoSa's full range of fiber and resin items, including its Avora products, to customers across the region.

''Our new offices in Brazil and Guatemala strengthen KoSa's position as the world's leading polyester resource,'' said Isaac Saba, KoSa chairman. ''In addition, these offices provide our Latin American customers with local sales teams through which they can purchase KoSa's wide range of top-quality polyester products.'' KoSa CEO Pedro Haas said that the company considers Latin America an important market, which offers both immediate and future growth opportunities. ''Therefore, we have taken these steps to demonstrate a long-term commitment to the region and its customers.'' Kosa has been selling to Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia for some time, according to Dick Osman, KoSa's director of new business and market development for textile fibers.

''There is not a big demand for KoSa flame-retardant textiles down there yet. Our products are driven by government regulation and by consumer awareness of safety issues such as flammability of home textiles.''

Osman said that currently, there is lower awareness and less stringent fire requirements in South America than in the States. But he said he expects those conditions to change as this burgeoning market matures.

Eduardo Hernández, who most recently served as the company's fibers export manager for Mexico, will head the Brazil office. Francisco Ortega is heading KoSa's Guatemala office. He was formerly fibers sales manager with KoSa in Mexico.

Both Hernandez and Ortega report to Marco Espinosa, KoSa's export director, Mexico and Latin America. The new offices expand KoSa's worldwide operations to eight countries. In addition to Brazil and Guatemala, the company has offices and/or production sites in Germany, Mexico, the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands and Turkey. KoSa manufactures commodity and specialty polyester products as part of five global businesses: Technical Filament, Tirecord, Textile Fibers, Packaging Resins, and Intermediates and Polymer. With global headquarters in Houston, Texas, KoSa employs 10,000 people worldwide.

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