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Gaston County’s Pharr selling yarn businesses to British, New Jersey companies

Bill Carstarphen at Pharr Yarns
[/media-credit] Bill Carstarphen, CEO Pharr Yarns

Pharr, a historic Gaston County textiles company with more than $300 million in annual revenue, is selling its yarn businesses. The transactions are expected to close in early 2020.

United Kingdom-based Coats Group plc is buying Pharr’s protective apparel unit, while New Jersey-based Mannington Mills is buying the carpet and specialty flooring unit. Robert and Daniel Stowe and W.J. Pharr formed the business in 1939, building one of the world’s biggest carpet yarn companies.

Over the years, McAdenville-based Pharr diversified into real estate and hotels, which are not being sold.

The company has ranked among the state’s biggest privately held companies, according to Business North Carolina’s annual list.

Pharr CEO Bill Carstarphen said both companies plan to retain Pharr’s workforce, which tops 1,000 people, and continue operations at its manufacturing facilities in McAdenville in Gaston County and Dalton, Ga.

Pharr is perhaps best known for sponsoring the McAdenville Christmas lights show, which draws thousands annually to the former mill town.

London-based Coats is a publicly traded manufacturer with operations in 50 countries and a workforce of more than 18,000. Salem, N.J.-based Mannington Mills makes residential and commercial sheet vinyl, laminate, resilient and hardwood floors, along with commercial carpet and rubber. The company is owned by the Campbell family and was founded in 1915.

With the addition of Pharr High Performance, Coats will have N.C. manufacturing sites in McAdenville, Kings Mountain, Marion and Hendersonville and a corporate office in Charlotte.

“Throughout its 80-year history, Pharr’s spirt of innovation and willingness to adapt to change have allowed the company to evolve and succeed,” Carstarphen said in a press release. “We know each of these groups will benefit tremendously from both Coats and Mannington and expect these transactions will result in a broad range of future opportunities and growth for our associates.”

David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at

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