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Cable Manufacturer Confirms Key Role for NZ

Media Release
28 May 2008

Global Cable Manufacturer Confirms Key Role for NZ Operation

International cable manufacturer General Cable Corporation has confirmed a new management structure which will see the Christchurch facilities maintain a key role in a global business.

With the change of leadership and structure, US-based General Cable Corporation is now arranged into three global regions: North America; Europe; and a new Rest of the World (ROW) region. The ROW region includes all of Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and a new Oceania division based in Christchurch.

The restructure is the result of General Cables’ acquisition of Phelps Dodge International Corporation (PDIC), for US$735million, in September 2007. The addition of PDIC’s complementary markets and manufacturing locations means General Cable Corporation is now a fully global operation with total combined revenues of more than US$5Billion per annum.

Christchurch-based Chris Birkett has been appointed as Managing Director of the company’s interests in Oceania. Birkett was formerly Chief Financial Officer for General Cable Asia-Pacific and has been with the company for over four years. The Oceania division is comprised of General Cable New Zealand, General Cable Australia, and the company’s Fijian operation, Dominion Wire and Cable Ltd.

A key feature of the change is a country-based reporting structure. The General Manager of General Cable New Zealand, Andy Lester, will step up to fill the role of New Zealand Country Manager reporting to Chris Birkett.

General Cable New Zealand is the country’s market leader in energy and electrical cables, and a major provider of data, telecommunications and specialty products in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific. With over 400 staff, most located in Christchurch, the company is one of the South Island’s largest industrial manufacturers. General Cable has made significant headway in Australia since purchasing Brand Rex Australia in 2001 and has recently announced plans for commercialisation of Industrial Research Ltd’s world leading superconductor technology.

General Manager Andy Lester, who has been driving the New Zealand operation since May 2006, says the new structure has enormous potential. “We will be able to remain highly focused on the needs of our customers in New Zealand, while at the same time leveraging our position upon the knowledge, resources and skills that exist within a worldwide operation.”

With the appointment of Country Managers now complete, the position of CEO for Asia Pacific has been removed from the management structure. Campbell Whyte, who joined General Cable in 2001, and headed General Cable Asia Pacific for five years, has chosen to pursue new opportunities. He leaves General Cable with the company’s gratitude and best wishes.

General Cable (NYSE: BGC), headquartered in Highland Heights, Kentucky, is a leader in the development, design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of copper, aluminium and fibre optic wire and cable products for the communications, energy and specialty markets. The Company offers competitive strengths in such areas as breadth of product line, brand recognition, distribution and logistics, sales and service and operating efficiency. Communications wire and cable products transmit low-voltage signals for voice, data, video and control applications.

Energy cables include low-, medium- and high-voltage power distribution and power transmission products. The Specialty segment is comprised of application-specific cables for uses such as electrical power generation (traditional fuels, alternative and renewable sources, and distributed generation), the oil, gas and petrochemical industries, mining, industrial automation, automotive, marine, military and aerospace applications, power applications in the telecommunications industry, and other key industrial segments. Visit our website at


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