Optical Cable Rejects Superior Essex Buyout Bid

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ROANOKE, Va., Aug. 17, 2006 -- Fiber-optic cable maker Optical Cable Corp. has rejected a bid worth $36 million in cash from wire and cable manufacturer Superior Essex Inc. to purchase all of its outstanding common stock for $6 per share, calling the proposal "grossly inadequate and opportunistic."

Optical Cable said in a statement announcing the rejection that the proposal it received on Tuesday from Superior Essex was the same as one received on Aug. 1, which was also dismissed as financially inadequate by its board of directors. Atlanta-based Superior Essex said its offer represented a premium of nearly 70 percent over Optical Cable's closing price on Monday.

"The board views Superior Essex's proposal as grossly inadequate and opportunistic, and has concluded that seeking to negotiate a combination with Superior Essex at this time would be incompatible with, and could in fact interfere with, the course of action we are pursuing," said Optical Cable President and CEO Neil Wilkin in the statement.

In announcing the buyout bid, Superior Essex Communications Group President Justin Deedy said, "We expect Optical Cable's Roanoke manufacturing facility to become a valuable component of our overall fiber optic and premise cable production base. We are excited by the cross-selling opportunities among customers of Superior Essex and Optical Cable and the extension of our complementary product lines. We believe that the combined businesses would have annualized fiber and premise revenues in excess of $250 million and enhance our presence in the market."

Optical Cable manufactures high-bandwidth fiber-optic cables, including ground tactical fiber optic cable used by the US military.

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Published: August 2006
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