Belden CDT continues rationalization plan following merger

The newly-merged Belden CDT Inc. has taken further steps in its facilities rationalization plan. Steps include plant closings, layoffs, and reductions in expenditures.

Feb 1st, 2005

The newly-merged Belden CDT Inc. has taken further steps in its facilities rationalization plan. Steps include plant closings, layoffs, and reductions in expenditures.

The plan is part of a program to achieve $25 million in annual net savings from the merger between Belden Inc. and Cable Design Technologies Corp. (CDT), through which Belden CDT was formed.

"The plant closing will complete what we need for the $25 million that we promised, but we continue to look at our footprint over time to see if we have the right location," says Dee Johnson, director of investor relations for Belden CDT (St Louis, MO; www.beldencdt.com).

Belden and CDT merged in July. Today, the merged operation is trying to meet synergy goals, which include purchasing cost reductions, eliminating corporate costs, implementing best practices, and facilities optimization (includes plant closings).

Belden CDT has targeted $25 million in synergy savings in the first 24 months after the July 15 merger closing date. The company hopes to get the $25 million in synergy savings within 18 to 24 months of that date.

"Some of the savings come on quickly; others take time to develop," says Johnson. "We feel we are a little ahead of schedule."

Johnson says the first quarter results, which ended Sept. 30, 2004, showed "improved margins." These were due mostly to purchasing savings. She says the company's operating margin rose to 8.1% of sales.

The company plans to close its Montrose cable operation in Auburn, MA. Montrose's principal business is coaxial and twisted-pair cable products, including central office cables.

Montrose, which employs about 100 people, has faced declining demand in recent years. Select equipment and products began being transferred to other Belden CDT manufacturing locations in December, and the company expects the plant to be closed early this year.

The company is also in discussion with employee representatives regarding its intention to close the plant in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, England. The Skelmersdale plant, which operates under the name Raydex, manufactures twisted-pair and coaxial cables for data networking, telecommunications, and broadcast applications

In addition, Belden CDT expects to exit the production of lower margin products in its Netherlands plant, and will realign certain manufacturing operations elsewhere. These actions will result in a further reduction of 150 to 200 manufacturing-related jobs during the next several quarters. The layoffs will represent about 10% of the total employment of the merged operation.


Correction

Our December article, "A new focus on end-to-end solutions", should have in=cluded Mohawk CDT (www.Mohawk-cdt.com) as one of the open systems partners of the Siemon Company.

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