Vidalia Mills sued; ‘It’s a commercial dispute,’ CEO says

Published 11:32 am Thursday, February 1, 2024

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VIDALIA, La. — A civil suit filed Jan. 17 by Process Service Specialists LLC of Delaware says that Vidalia Industrial Facilities LLC, also known as Vidalia Mills, owes money for services rendered to the denim manufacturer.

According to the lawsuit, Vidalia Mills owes a debt of $711,834.29 for “furnishing of supplies, labor, and expenses” as well as legal interest from the date of the court filing.

The suit alleges that Vidalia Mills was sent a formal demand for payment on Sept. 19, 2023, and “to date, no payment of this demand has been made.”

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“This is a commercial dispute,” said Dan Feibus, CEO of Vidalia Mills. “It’s not so cut and dry.” Feibus was unable to comment on the record further on the legal matter.

On July 19, 2018, Vidalia Mills signed closing documents on its purchase of the old Fruit of the Loom plant from the Town of Vidalia, including the 900,000-square-foot building and 74 acres of land for $12 million.

The town in return promised to give $8 million back to the industry for approved capital improvements to the site and provision of around 300 jobs.

Since then, Feibus said they’ve invested in the neighborhood of $75 million, equipping the textile plant with new machinery to spin dye raw cotton and weave it into denim fabric.

Feibus said Vidalia Denim currently employs just under 100 people with a payroll of around $7 million and growing.

Starting wages are at $18 per hour, he said.

“I believe we have one of the highest payrolls in the area,” Feibus said. “Since 2019, we’ve invested an additional $35 million. We will soon hit $9 million in payroll with a dramatically lower headcount (than 300) because our starting wage is $18 and goes up to $25 an hour. We try to be a good employer. We’re far from perfect, but we try.”