Our History

More than a century of progress and innovation

Since the stroke of genius of the Swiss engineer François Borel that rendered electric cables waterlight by applying a coating of lead over bituminous paper, a century of progress and innovation has elapsed.

From the Société Française des Câbles Électriques to Nexans, passing through CGE and Alcatel, the Company has not ceased to progress, and to develop its know-how in the cable business.

1897: Creation of the Société Française des Câbles in Lyon, Berthoud, Borel and Company system.

1912: the Compagnie Générale d'Électricité (CGE) takes a majority holding in the Société des Câbles Électriques.

1917: the company is renamed Compagnie Générale des Câbles de Lyon.

1925: merger with the Compagnie Générale d'Électricité. Câbles de Lyon becomes a division of the Compagnie Générale d'Électricité.

1938: the Compagnie Générale d'Électricité buys out the Société Industrielle des Téléphones. The cables activities of the Société Industrielle des Téléphones (Bezons and Calais plant) are transferred to Câbles de Lyon.

1969: takeover of the Société Alsacienne de Construction Mécanique(France).

1970: takeover of Câbles Geoffroy et Delore (France).

1979: takeover of Câbleries de Lens (France).

1980: takeover of Chandris Cables (Greece).

1981: interest holding in Chester Cables (USA).

1982: Takeover of Kabelmetal Elektro (Germany). Nationalization of the Compagnie Générale d'Électricité.

1983: Takeover of Thomson-Jeumont Câbles (France). Takeover of Gorse.

1986: agreement between CGE and ITT. The Câbles de Lyon are transferred to Alcatel NV. The cable activities of ITT are taken over by Câbles de Lyon. Takeover of the Tréfilerie et Laminoir de la Méditerranée (TLM). Takeover of Câbleries de Charleroi (Belgium).

1987: privatization of the Compagnie Générale d'Électricité.

1988: takeover of the Société Nouvelle de Câblerie Barelec. Takeover of Manuli Cavi (Italy). Acquisition of Thomson Cuivre.

1989: takeover of Câbleries de Dour (Belgium).

1991: takeover of Canada Wire (Canada), Vacha Kabel (Germany), Ehlerskabelwerk (Germany), Lacroix und Kress (Germany), AEG Kabel. Câbles de Lyon takes the name Alcatel Câble

1992: takeover of Berk Tek (USA).

1994: takeover of Cortaillod-Cossonay (Switzerland).

1998: takeover of ODD (USA-Portugal).

2000: takeover of Safi Conel (Italy).

2000: creation of Nexans.

2001: takeover of Daesung (South Korea).

2001: Nexans' IPO on the Paris Stock Exchange.

2002: takeover of PETRI (Germany). Nexans sells AGRO AG

2003: takeover of a controlling shareholding in Kukdong Electrical Wires Company (Korea)

2003: takeover of Furukawa Cabos de Energia S.A. (Brazil)

2004: acquisition of Cabloswiss (Italy), specialized in special cables for robotics. Acquisition of Liban Cables (Lebanon)

2006: three acquisitions:

  • acquisition of the Confecta Group (Germany) specialized in the manufacture of harnesses for the railway industry and other industrial segment
  • acquisition of OLEX, an Australian company  which reinforces Nexans' position in energy cables, and doubles its exposure to the buoyant markets of the Asia-Pacific region.
  • acquisition of The Valley Group, Inc (TVG), the leader in real-time thermal rating technology for Overhead Power Transmission applications to provide reliable power line monitoring for electric utilities.


  • acquisition of Intercond, a leading European manufacturer of special cables
  • acquisition of the cable business of Madeco, the cable market leader in South America.
  • Joint-venture with Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd (SEI) for Opticable in Belgium.


  • Fonds Stratégique d’Investissement (The French Sovereign Fund) took a 5% stake in the Capital of Nexans


  • Reinforcement of our industrial position :
    • Inauguration of Nexans’ first plant in Qatar (QICC)
    • Opening of a new manufacturing plant entirely dedicated to aeronautical cables, to meet Airbus’ local needs.


  • Stock purchase agreement with Madeco
  • Joint-Venture with Alstom (Morocco) to produce harnesses for the rolling stock market
  • Nexans announces intention to build a new Extra High Voltage cable plant in USA
  • Joint-Venture with Shandong Yanggu (China), controlled 75% by Nexans