Malaysian billionaire Stanley Thai invests $350 million to build Supermax’s glove factory in Texas

Supermax Corp, controlled by Malaysian billionaire Stanley Thai, said its US unit Maxter Healthcare would invest $350 million to build a medical glove factory in Brazoria County, Texas.

The facility, which was detailed in a filing on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange on Tuesday, will be Supermax’s 18th plant worldwide and the first in the United States. Construction will start in the second quarter and the first production of medical nitrile gloves is expected in the second quarter of 2023.

“Made in the USA has always been a Supermax desire because it reinforces our high standards of quality and craftsmanship,” said Stanley Thai, founder and executive chairman of Supermax in a statement.

The facility will span 215 acres (87 hectares) and include eight buildings. Supermax said the first phase of production will be able to meet up to 15% of US demand over the next two to four years, and the second phase up to 25% over the next four to six years.

The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the demand for single-use nitrile gloves around the world. According to a March report by US-based Global Industry Analysts, the US nitrile glove market will reach $12.8 billion this year and account for 33.5% of the global market.

Supermax said export to 165 countries. Last year, US customs authorities banned imports of Supermax gloves from Malaysia due to alleged forced labor practices. Several other Malaysian producers have faced similar US bans. Supermax did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday about whether the company is still banned from exporting to the United States.

In 1987, Supermax was founded by Thai and his wife Cheryl Tan, who together ranked 20th on last year’s list of Malaysia’s 50 richest, with a net worth of $1.1 billion.

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