Southwire vacates communications-cable business

Southwire (www.southwire.com) is selling its communications-cable division, called Cyber Technologies, to General Cable Corp. (www.generalcable.com). The exchange is part of a larger deal, in which General Cable will sell its building-wire operations to Southwire.

Southwire (www.southwire.com) is selling its communications-cable division, called Cyber Technologies, to General Cable Corp. (www.generalcable.com). The exchange is part of a larger deal, in which General Cable will sell its building-wire operations to Southwire.

The Cyber Technologies division will transfer from Southwire to General Cable when the building-wire deal closes. At the time the deal was announced in September, the companies expected it to close sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. General Cable approximates the value of the Cyber Technology division's assets at $4 million, and says the division had revenues of approximately $6 million in 2000.

In a conference call soon after the deal was announced, Gregory Kenny, General Cable's president and chief executive officer, said that "when market conditions are right," General Cable will use the former Cyber Technologies division to expand General's presence in Mexico.

Southwire's exit from the communications-cable business is an example of an uncommon event. The approximately 40 cable-makers that serve the premises-cabling marketplace are fairly well-known to users, and most have served the market for a number of years. Southwire was a relative newcomer to the premises/campus communications-cabling arena, having entered in the late 1990s after approximately 50 years in the electrical-wire business.

Champlain Cable (www.champcable.com) is another cable-maker that stopped serving this market niche in the past few years. Champlain and Southwire are similar in that premises data-communications was one of several market niches they served. Champlain produces cable used in the industrial and automotive industries.

-Patrick McLaughlin

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