General Cable Corp. has gone global.
The Northern Kentucky-based advanced manufacturer develops, designs, manufactures, sells and distributes copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable for the energy, industrial, and communications markets.
In 2009, the company joined the Fortune 500, ranking 396. With $6.2 billion in annual revenues in 2008, up 35 percent from the previous year, General Cable is the state’s fifth largest company behind Louisville’s Humana and Yum! Brands and Covington’s Omnicare and Ashland.
The company completed four acquisitions in 2007 designed to bring it into growing markets overseas. The largest was its purchase of Phelps Dodge International, a $1.2 billion company that sells electrical infrastructure products in 45 countries. In addition to Phelps Dodge, General Cable in 2007 also acquired a Chinese manufacturer of automotive and industrial cables, formed two joint venture companies in India, and acquired cable manufacturer NSW in Germany.
General Cable has 46 manufacturing plants in 23 countries, including one plant in Lawrenceburg, Ky. About one-third of revenue comes from North America, one-third from Europe and Africa, and one-third from other parts of the world. The company employs 13,000 globally.
But General Cable is not just buying growth, it's also growing internally, targeting fast-developing economies in China, India, Latin America, Africa and Asia, and initiating product lines that offer high growth. The most recent example: a $40 million deal its German subsidiary NSW was awarded to deliver and install 2,600 miles of fiber optic cable under the Mediterranean Sea from France to Egypt, with connections in Italy, Turkey and Cyprus. The company also recently secured a $30 million contract to supply cables to the first wind farm to be located in the North Sea.
Growth strategies like that are the reason its revenue grew 23 percent and profits grew 54 percent in 2007. General Cable now employs 12,000 people on six continents.
"The company is pushing deeper into developing economies as well as introducing General Cable to areas of the world where the company has not historically participated in a meaningful way," says CEO Gregory Kenny.
Writer: David Holthaus
Photographs courtesy of General Cable