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No. 351, December 1998

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Japanese Companies in the US


Rescuing magnet wire manufacturer OPTEC DAI-ICHI DENKO CO., LTD. has become a complex, multinational effort. In October, France's ALCATEL S.A. acquired OPTEC D.D. U.S.A., INC., which has made copper magnet wire in Mexico, Missouri since 1987. It also agreed to buy an Optec plant in Portugal and the company's Canadian assets. Now, MITSUBISHI MATERIALS CORP., which took Optec under its wing last spring and is the company's top shareholder with a 30 percent stake, has an agreement with Alcatel to buy approximately 12 percent of the former Optec subsidiary in the United States and 10 percent or so of the Portuguese firm. News sources put the cost of this transaction around $8.3 million. MMC hopes to use the purchases to further its fabricated copper business in the United States and Europe. In turn, Alcatel, a big telecommunications equipment maker, will purchase roughly 12 percent of Optec's stock. Magnet wire in used in such equipment as motors, transformers, television tubes, clocks and vehicles.

An exchange rate of ¥121=$1.00 was used in this report.

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