Optical Cable Corp. acquires SMP Data Communications

June 3, 2008 -- The deal is reported to be worth more than $11 million.

June 3, 2008 -- Preformed Line Products has sold wholly owned subsidiary and copper/fiber connectivity solutions developer SMP Data Communications to Optical Cable Corp. for a reported near-$11.5 million.

Now as a wholly owned subsidiary of OCC, SMP Data Communications will provide its new parent company's customers with what president and CEO Neil Wilkin calls "an integrated suite of high-quality cabling solutions." Looking forward, Wilkin adds, "we expect to expand the capabilities of both companies."

Optical Cable Corp., with headquarters in Roanoke, VA, produces multimode and singlemode fiber-optic communications cables designed primarily for the enterprise market. Founded in 1983, it employs approximately 200. SMP Data Communications is located in Swannanoa, NC, and employs nearly 120. General manager Bill Reynolds will remain in a leadership role, serving as president of the new subsidiary.

Formerly known as Superior Modular Products, SMP Data Communications has developed numerous patented technologies since its founding in 1990, including a low crosstalk electrical connector system that the company claims "revolutionized" the high-speed connector industry and remains the basis for today's higher-frequency connectivity.

Meanwhile, overhead/underground network equipment provider PLP says the divestiture of SMP will allow it to concentrate resources on growth opportunities in its power utility, communications, and renewable energy markets. "The sale to OCC provided an opportunity for SMP to merge with a strategic buyer that is well-positioned to grow the business and extend its reach with the data communications market," says Dennis McKenna, vice president/marketing and business development.

OCC's Wilkin says both the Optical Cable and SMP Data Communications product lines will soon be available through a "realigned" outside sales team. He adds, "to ease the transition for our customers, our phone lines, product numbers, and inside sales representatives at both companies will remain the same for now."

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