Italian Cable Maker Prysmian Is on the Prowl for a U.S. Target

Italian cable maker Prysmian SpA is seeking an acquisition in the U.S., where President Joe Biden’s policies are expected to boost the renewable energy industry.

“I’d like to find a nice target to purchase in the U.S. at a reasonable price,” Chief Executive Officer Valerio Battista said in an interview Wednesday. “I can see much stronger growth there compared with Europe.”

He excluded going after rival Southwire Co LLC.

The Milan-based manufacturer has snapped up U.S. and Dutch competitors over the past decade to become the world’s largest maker of industrial cables. In addition to the potential for further dealmaking in North America, Battista also raised the possibility of opening a new factory there should growth take off.

In the U.S., Biden’s early moves have fed hopes of a boom in clean energy. He rejoined the Paris climate pact, yanked a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and had his climate adviser, Gina McCarthy, commit to aggressively cutting carbon emissions.

Prysmian is counting on the unlocking of renewable projects in the U.S., notably a $3 billion wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts for which the company won a 250 million-euro contract to supply submarine cables two years ago.

The Vineyard Wind LLC venture, the nation’s first utility-scale offshore energy project, is leading a pack of developers seeking to build multi-billion dollar wind power projects along the U.S. East Coast, but has encountered permitting delays. Construction may start by the end of the year, Battista said.

Read more: Wind-Power Project Off Martha’s Vineyard Wins Under Tax Plan

Prysmian agreed to buy General Cable Corp. in 2017, a $3 billion deal that extended a wave of consolidation in the market. The Italian company had already reached No. 1 ranking after acquiring Dutch competitor Draka Holding NV in 2011 and currently employs roughly 30,000 people.

“We are very confident to reach the company’s guidance for 2020,” Battista said. He expects full-year 2020 revenue to drop as much as 15% compared with the previous year, while cost cuts of 100 million euros will help contain a fall in profit.

Prysmian’s board will be renewed at the annual meeting in April. The current directors presented its own slate of candidates that confirmed Battista, 64, in his role, according to a statement.

Read more: Goldman Sachs Loses EU Court Fight Over Cable Cartel Fine (1)

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