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CommScope Consolidating Foreign Ops

CommScope Inc. , a maker of broadband cable equipment and wireless gear, is proposing a handful of manufacturing-related consolidation moves in Australia and parts of Eastern and Western Europe that could lead to about 85 jobs being cut. (See CommScope Consolidates.)

About 700 jobs will be affected overall -- that's about 5 percent of the 15,000 employees CommScope had ending 2007 -- but most of them could be relocated to other company locations, CommScope officials said in their press release.

The consolidations follow similar moves CommScope made in April, when it announced plans to shutter its broadband facility in Jaguariuna, Brazil, by this September, and to stop production at facilities in Seneffe, Belgium, and Capriate, Italy.

The Hickory, N.C.-based company said the shift and fusion of its foreign operations -- coming in the wake of CommScope's acquisition of Andrew Corp. -- was necessary to reduce costs and to boost its long-term global competitiveness.

Among the divisions being affected are: microwave antenna operations in England; base station antenna production and other operations in the Czech Republic; an enterprise cabling operation in Australia; and machine shop operations in Scotland.

In most cases, the operation is being shut down and moved to another CommScope/Andrew location, although CommScope says some of the shuttered functions could end up being outsourced.

Other than the expected, aggregate numbers cited, CommScope did not say how many employees would be let go or relocated in each region. But proposed changes for its Europe-based facilities are subject to "employee consultation processes" expected to last about 90 days, a company spokesman says.

CommScope said savings from this latest round of planned actions are incremental to the $90 million to $100 million in savings expected within two years of its acquisition of Andrew. CommScope expects merger-related savings to be in the range of $50 million to $60 million for this year.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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