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General Cable purchased in $3 billion deal; Du Quoin has company's only Illinois facility

  • Employees file in and out of the Du Quoin General Cable plant during a shift change Tuesday afternoon.

    Employees file in and out of the Du Quoin General Cable plant during a shift change Tuesday afternoon.
    Geoffrey Ritter photo

  • About 185 people work at the General Cable plant in Du Quoin.

    About 185 people work at the General Cable plant in Du Quoin.
    Geoffrey Ritter photo

 
 
Posted on 12/6/2017, 1:00 AM

A new logo might be going up in front of Du Quoin's General Cable plant.

The cable manufacturer announced this week that is has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Prysmian, a global competitor to General Cable. The deal is worth about $3 billion.

The transaction, which has been approved by each company's board of directors, is expected to close by the third quarter of 2018.

The Du Quoin plant, located at 1453 S. Washington St., serves as the city's largest single employer and is General Cable's only facility in Illinois.

Erik Perks, the Du Quoin plant's manager, declined to comment Tuesday, referring all questions about the deal to General Cable communications director Lisa Fell. Fell also declined to provide further comment, although she confirmed that 185 people currently work at the Du Quoin plant.

A spokesperson for Prysmian did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

Du Quoin Mayor Guy Alongi expressed optimism for the deal in a post on Facebook, and other social media conversations about the sale took a similarly positive tone.

"As you all know General Cable has been a vital part of Du Quoin's economy for decades and we hope this is a positive sign for their future in our community," Alongi wrote.

Leaders with both companies expressed hopeful sentiments in a shared news release.

"This combination is an ideal strategic fit and ensures we are well-positioned to meet the future opportunities and challenges in the dynamic and evolving wire and cable industry," said Michael T. McDonnell, General Cable president and chief executive officer. "I am extremely proud of our people's efforts to transform our business over the past several years, including rationalizing the asset base and refocusing on core businesses, streamlining our supply chain, and accelerating profitable growth and innovation in key segments. Today's announcement is a testament to the team's hard work and tireless dedication."

Prysmian Group, an Italian corporation, is the world's largest manufacturer of cables. Its CEO, Valerio Battista, said nothing in his statement about plans for current General Cable facilities, but he did indicate plans to grow production in the United States.

"The acquisition of General Cable represents a landmark moment for Prysmian Group and a strategic and unique opportunity to create value for our shareholders and customers," Battista said. "Through the combination of two of the premier companies in the cable industry we will be enhancing our position in the sector, by increasing our presence in North America and expanding our footprint in Europe and South America."