WILMINGTON, Del. –- In a possible prelude to an initial public offering, DuPont has packaged its fibers business into the new wholly owned DuPont Textiles & Interiors (DTI) subsidiary. As a stand-alone business, the new unit is the largest integrated textile fiber and interiors company in the world, with approximate annual revenue of $6.5 billion.

The residential, commercial, transportation and rug segments of DuPont Flooring -- including its Stainmaster and Antron brands – have been placed under the DTI umbrella. The rationale behind DTI’s creation was to drive efficiencies and seize business opportunities, said Alan Wolk, vice president and general manager of DuPont Flooring Worldwide.

As part of the mammoth DuPont organization, the businesses encompassed by DTI could not focus on their core markets in an optimal fashion, he added. DTI was packaged to create the “critical mass” necessary to make a major impact on the flooring and textile markets. “We’re going to be the 800-lb. gorilla in our industry,” Wolk said.

DuPont also announced that it has engaged investment bank Morgan Stanley to explore a full range of strategic options for the new subsidiary, including an initial public offering, with the ultimate intent of separation from the parent company no later than year-end 2003 if market conditions permit. Though DuPont is considering various options to spin off DTI, an IPO remains the most “likely candidate,” Wolk said, adding that such action would require 18 to 20 months to complete.

Headquartered in Wilmington, Del., DTI is composed of two businesses, each with subgroups: Textiles and Interiors, including Apparel, Home & Industrial and Flooring; and Intermediates, including nylon, Terathane and polyester intermediates, specialties and joint ventures. Zytel nylon resins will remain with DuPont.

The new subsidiary will have a portfolio of DuPont’s best known brands and trademarks including: Lycra, Stainmaster, Coolmax, Thermolite, Supplex, Antron, Cordura, Tactel, Dacron and Micromattique. The venture will also have the opportunity to leverage other brands including the DuPont and Teflon brands.

“Today is an important day for the global textile industry,” said Richard R. Goodmanson, executive vice president and chief operating officer of DuPont, who heads the DTI leadership team. “This new subsidiary will focus on innovation, research & development, cost efficiencies, manufacturing efficiencies, and responsiveness to our customers around the world. We are wholly committed to making this company the model for the future.”

Steven R. McCracken, group vice president and general manager, DuPont Apparel & Textile was named lead for the downstream businesses and George MacCormack, group vice president and general manager, DuPont Chemicals and Polyester, was named lead for the upstream businesses.

“As an integrated producer,” MacCormack explained, “DTI now has the scope and scale to profitably supply intermediates and polymer to our current and potential customers, and to grow in to the merchant market around the world.”

DuPont also said that DTI will have the largest research & development budget in its industry, with approximately $170 million earmarked for product and process innovation in 2002.