The company is not planning any layoffs or pay cuts.

WEST POINT, Ga. (AP) – WestPoint Stevens Inc., one of the nation’s largest makers of sheets, pillow cases and towels, said Monday it has filed for bankruptcy and its chief executive is resigning.

WestPoint makes products under several brand names, including Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren, Stevens, Martex, Vellux, Disney Home and Joe Boxer.

The company has been struggling with high debt, a slumping economy and competition from low-cost rivals in China and Central America. A number of U.S. textile companies, including Burlington Industries and Malden Mills, have filed for bankruptcy in recent years.

WestPoint Stevens said it filed for Chapter 11 protection from its creditors on Sunday in federal bankruptcy court in New York.

Under an agreement with bondholders, Holcombe T. Green Jr. will resign as chief executive, and M.L. “Chip” Fontenot, the current president and chief operating officer, will become the interim chief executive, pending approval by the bankruptcy court.

No layoffs or pay cuts are planned at the company, which was founded almost 200 years ago and employs about 14,600 people, said Lorraine Miller, senior vice president of investor relations.

“We hope the financial restructuring will help the company by giving us more flexibility to compete more effectively in the home fashions industry,” Miller said. “WestPoint Stevens … is a sound company that’s been operating with a capital structure that has not been appropriate.”

To keep operating while in bankruptcy, WestPoint Stevens has lined up as much as $300 million in financing from lenders, Miller said.


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