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Acciaierie di Calvisano (Feralpi) announced that it is waiting final approval of the proposal it made to its 50-50 partner in the Caleotto wire rod mill.

A published report said that its partner, Duferco Italia Holding, has agreed to sell its ownership in the rod mill in northern Italy. Caleotto supplies special wire rod to a number of markets, including the automotive sector

Last modified on March 6, 2020

Southwire plans to close operations at its plant in Hayesville, North Carolina, effective March 31.

Per a report in the Clay County Progress, the plant, acquired by Southwire in 2014, employs some 45 employees. Production there will be moved to other Southwire plants. “This decision is not a reflection on the people, the quality or the performance of the facility, nor is it one we take lightly,” said Rich Stinson, Southwire’s president and CEO. “As we look at our long-term strategy, we must ensure we are properly aligned to make the best use of our facilities and best meet the needs of our customers.”

Last modified on March 3, 2020

Italy’s Mario Frigerio SpA announced that it has acquired the intellectual property rights (IP rights), as well as the inventory, of Germany’s ERNST KOCH GmbH & Co., KG, a storied equipment manufacturer.

A press release said that Mario Frigerio has established a new company—KOCH Machinery and Technology GmbH (KOCH)—in Germany. Lucia Frigerio, executive vice president of Mario Frigerio, will also serve as managing director, along with Jochen Koch. Lucia Frigerio said that the deal enables the resulting organization to offer “the world’s best European technology,” and that it will be able to quickly respond to service needs around the world, and will stock original spare parts.

“With this acquisition, the MFL GROUP will strengthen its worldwide presence, and complete its portfolio of products in the Wire and Rope Division with reinforcement steel wire lines as well as cold heading wire lines,” Frigerio said in the release. It noted that KOCH will also service the complete program of the former entity. That includes spare parts supply, maintenance programs, electrical revamping and mechanical retrofitting.

Founded in 1921, Ernst Koch GmbH supplied its first wire machine in the 1930s, built by master mechanic Ernst Koch. In the 1950s, his sons, Albert and Heinrich, began supplying wet drawing machines, take-up frames for galvanizing lines, and wire straightening and cutting machines. In 1969, it partnered with WAFIOS AG to provide specialized drawing machines and cold-rolling technology. The company expanded its product range over the years, to where it had some 130 employees, customers in more than 60 countries, with 80% of its products are now being exported.

Last modified on March 3, 2020

U.S.-based Fisk Alloy, Inc., announced that it has agreed to be bought by Thermo Technologies, a French company that is active in five companies in three continents (Europe, North America and Asia), for an undisclosed sum.

A press release said that the deal represents “a strategic combination designed to create a global expert in high-performance copper alloy wires.” Fisk Alloy, founded in 1973, manufactures advanced copper alloy wire for sectors such as automotive, medical, electronic and aerospace. It has some 200 employees at its plant in Hawthorne, New Jersey.

Thermo Technologies produces electrolytic precious metal coatings, EDM wire, high-tech solid and stranded copper, copper alloy and aluminum wires, and more. It is controlled by Edify SA, a Swiss industrial holding company listed on the Euro-MTF market of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.

Thermo Technologies CEO Gilles Mollard will oversee the combined operations. Eric Fisk, CEO and controlling owner of Fisk Alloy, “will step aside from day-to-day operations, become a significant investor in Thermo Technologies and join its Supervisory Board.” Current Fisk management will run the company’s U.S. operations, which will retain the Fisk name. The transaction is expected to close at the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Last modified on March 3, 2020

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH announced that it is postponing wire Dusseldorf and Tube Dusseldorf, as well as other scheduled trade fairs at the Fairgrounds that include ProWein, wire, Tube, Beauty, Top Hair and Energy Storage Europe. Below is its press release.

In close coordination with all partners involved, the company will promptly discuss alternative trade fair dates in order to guarantee planning can reliably proceed. In doing so, we are following the recommendation of the crisis management team of the German government to take into account the principles of the Robert Koch Institute when making a risk assessment of major events. On the basis of this recommendation and the recent significant increase in the number of infected persons, including in Europe, Messe Düsseldorf has reassessed the situation. Added to this is the uncertainty of numerous exhibitors and visitors at the events in March and the complicated travel situation, especially for international customers.

 Werner M. Dornscheidt, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH: "Our customers, partners and employees trust us. Not only when it comes to the professional and successful handling of major international events in Düsseldorf. They can also have this trust in us when we make decisions about critical situations in the interests of their safety".

 "This decision was not an easy one for all concerned," said Thomas Geisel, Lord Mayor of the city of Düsseldorf and chairman of the Supervisory Board of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. "But the postponements at the present time are necessary for Messe Düsseldorf and its customers in view of the increasingly dynamic developments.”

There are currently no intentions to postpone the major trade fairs interpack and drupa, which will be held in Düsseldorf in May and June. "Of course, we are taking our customers' inquiries regarding the Coronavirus very seriously here too," said Dornscheidt, "so we will re-evaluate the situation in good time in consultation with health authorities and partners in order to make the appropriate decisions.”

The week-long wire Dusseldorf and Tube Dusseldorf events were scheduled to be held March 30 to April 3. Asked by WJI when a new date might be known for the biennial events, a Messe spokesperson replied that it was too early to say, noting that there were many factors to consider.

Last modified on March 2, 2020

U.K.-based Elmeridge Cables Limited (ECL) reports that it recently delivered two contracts for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

A press release said that the company was asked by BAS to supply two lengths of double-armored CTD (conductivity, temperature and depth) cable for two Royal Research Survey vessels. The separate contracts were for a single 8,000-meter length for the RRS James Clark Ross and a single 10,000-meter length for the RRS Sir David Attenborough. Both vessels work in very sensitive and often extreme weather environments, so production had to be perfect.

“BAS stipulated that to avoid slippage on the winch during deployment and recovery, no grease or oil could be applied on or to the armor wires of Galvanized Improved Plow Steel (GIPS), an assurance we were happy to give,” said Des Smith, owner/managing director at Elmeridge Cables Ltd. He added that BAS gave strict specifications for the diameter and width of the cable drums, even down to hole size for the spindle, to allow direct loading and unloading of the drums to and from the winches on board both vessels.

Last modified on February 6, 2020

NTT Ltd. announced it will start the construction of MIST, a large-capacity submarine cable connecting Singapore, Myanmar and India.

Per a press release and published reports, the MIST cable system will have a total length of 11,000 km, connecting the three countries, and will include capacity for future expansion. The construction of the submarine cable network in South East Asia is part of a strategic joint venture with Orient Link Pte. Ltd. (Orient Link), a strategic joint venture of NTT, JICT and WEN Capital.

The cable will have 12 fiber pairs and 240 Tbps capacity, able to transmit a six-hour high-definition video (approximately three movies) in one second. The cost for the project was estimated at approximately US$400 million. NTT aims to link its large-scale data centers in Singapore, Myanmar and India with the MIST cable system. Orient Link is expected to get additional funds for the MIST cable system from its anchor customers, which might include Google, and certain Chinese OTT players and operators.

NTT’s existing offerings through cable systems such as Asia Submarine Cable Express (ASE), Asia Pacific Gateway (APG), Pacific Crossing -1 (PC-1) and JUPITER Cable (under construction) provide global connectivity from Asia to the US. The MIST cable system, along with these existing offerings, will allow for NTT to grow its offering and expand into India and beyond.

NTT Ltd. was established in London on July 1, 2019 as the global operating company of NTT Corporation (NTT Group), the merger of 28 brands. On October 10, 2019, NTT Ltd. established Orient Link. Ownership is as follows: NTT (42%), JICT (38%) and WEN Capital (20%).

Last modified on February 6, 2020

Loos & Co., LLC (Loos) was acquired by Canada’s Central Wire Industries (CWI). That news was reported in a July 2018 announcement by Carter Morse & Mathias (CMM), which served as a financial adviser, but that press release did not make a splash on the news wires.

To date, WJI has still not been provided any official comment. Thus, the only news to officially report is the statements from the CMM press release. In it, CWI President Paul From said, “The addition of Loos to the Central Wire Group of Companies continues our strategy of broadening and diversifying product offerings and markets served around CWI’s industry-leading stainless and nickel alloy wire business.”

The press release also included comments from one of the owners of the second-generation family-owned company. “We were looking to find a synergistic buyer that would continue the company’s commitment to its employees, customers, and business partners, to accelerate the development and production of the highest quality products and to uphold the company’s legacy in the industry and our communities. We found the perfect buyer with Central Wire,” said Joan Loos.

This news may already be known, especially as the CWI website has Loos listed among its acquisitions. Prior ones included Hempel Wire Limited (2015), Strand Core (2014), Charter Specialty Steel - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin facility (2010), Techalloy, Inc. (2005), Greening Donald (2003), Nucor - Lancaster, South Carolina facility (1998) and National Filtration (1989).

Per the release, Loos has manufacturing operations in Pomfret, Connecticut and Naples, Florida, and is the only vertically integrated manufacturer of aircraft control cable, cable assemblies and hardware accessories - drawing wire, stranding into cable, manufacturing end fittings, and producing cable assemblies in North America.

Last modified on February 6, 2020

IWCS and UL announced that they have made “the difficult decision” to cancel the UL and IWCS China 2020 Cable & Connectivity Symposium due to the widespread threat of the Coronavirus.

A press release said that the fourth annual UL and IWCS China 2020 regional Asian conference—a forum for information exchange in cable and connectivity—was to be held in Shanghai, China on March 24-26, 2020 at the Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of our friends and colleagues in China as they take every precaution to battle this serious Coronavirus crisis,” said IWCS CEO/Director David Kiddoo.

“We have made the difficult decision to cancel the UL and IWCS China 2020 Cable & Connectivity Symposium with great concern for the health and safety of our attendees, presenters, and their families,” said L.F. Lai, vice president and general manager of UL’s Wire and Cable division

The release said that both organizations are committed to the future of the conference, and that plans are already in process to hold the 2021 conference in Shanghai.
As information becomes available, further announcements will be made on the symposium at www.ulandiwcschina.org.

Last modified on February 6, 2020

The Cableware Division of Loos & Co., Inc., reports that the company has acquired Sheaves, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of pulleys and sheaves to the wire and wire rope industry.

A press release said that the deal broadens the solutions that the Cableware Division, based in Naples, Florida, can provide customers. The acquisition of Sheaves, Inc. unifies three brands known in the wire and wire rope industry under the Loos & Co., Inc. product umbrella. That includes: QSheaves, which supplies customizable lifting sheaves; Process Sheaves, which supplies pulleys used in wire and cable manufacturing; and ESheaves, which will be the source for both stock and custom metal/plastic sheaves.

Operations will continue under the brand names established by Sheaves, Inc., and through the existing websites for the foreseeable future. Sales, customer service, and manufacturing operations have been moved to the Naples, Florida location and shipments will be fulfilled from there.

Last modified on January 27, 2020

The Department of Commerce (DoC) announced on Jan. 3 that its preliminary determination in its antidumping duty (AD) investigation of imports of collated steel staples from China found that such suppliers had sold at less than fair value.

A press release said that DoC assigned a preliminary dumping rate of 301.64% for mandatory respondent Tianjin Hweschun Fasteners Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Tianjin Jin Xin Sheng Long Metal Products Co., Ltd. as well as to “non-selected respondents eligible for a separate rate and the China-wide entity.”

The penalties had been sought by Kyocera Senco Industrial Tools, Inc., of Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2018, imports of collated steel staples from China were valued at an estimated $88.8 million.

If DoC makes an affirmative final determination and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) follows with a similar finding, the order will go into effect. The DoC is scheduled to vote on May 18 and the ITC on July 2. Per DoC, in 2018, China shipped 63,640,957 kg of such steel staples, up from 57,512,126 in 2017 and 52,507,421 in 2016.

Last modified on January 27, 2020

LLFlex, a global supplied in packaging materials and industrial laminate solutions for sectors that include wire and cable, is set to open a new 73,500-sq-ft fully integrated manufacturing facility in High Point, North Carolina, that will provide products and services to customers in the U.S. and abroad. l

A press release said that the company will invest some $7.6 million in the project. The initiative will significantly expand LLFlex’s output capacity, and include equipment supporting both of its two main business segments: packing (consumer products) and industrial laminates. The latter business includes wire and cable, for which the company offers its Reyshield™ cable wrap. The investment will include a new laminator with multiple coating stations and a dedicated slitter that will be complemented by a new steel, copper and aluminum slitter with an annual capacity of 40 million lb. “The new facility is a culmination of our commitment to customer service, production excellence and market share growth,” said Victor Dixon, CEO of LLFlex.

Last modified on January 27, 2020