History of Nexans Olex

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Nexans Olex has a strong background and history that goes back to 1940 when the cable industry was first established in Australia.

That was when two great Australian companies, Olympic Consolidated Industries Limited and Nylex Corporation Limited, pioneered cable production within a few months of each other – Olympic producing Australia’s first vulcanised rubber insulated cable and Nylex producing a range of plastic insulated cables for the armed services during the Second World War.

Until that time, Australia had been totally dependent on imported cables.

The Nexans Olex Timeline

1940 - a division of Olympic Tyres began making insulated cables for the armed services and a new factory for the cables group was opened in Footscray, Victoria.

1946 - Olympic Cables Ltd was formed as a separate company.

1948 - 1950 - Whilst Olympic Cables was beginning to grow, so too was Nylex Corporation. Although Nylex Corporation’s main focus was moulded plastic products, it too ventured into cable manufacturing. During the 1948 to 1950 period, a cable plant was established in Lilydale, Victoria and thus Nylex Cables was formed.

1956 - 26 acres of land was acquired in the neighbouring suburb of Tottenham, Victoria, for the erection of a new cable factory.

1973 - Olympic Cables and Nylex Cables merged to form Olex Cables on the first of July 1973.

1980 - Dunlop acquired Olympic Consolidated Industries and therefore, 50% of Olex Cables.

1981 - Pacific Dunlop purchased Nylex Cables’s 50% interest to become outright owners of Olex Cables. Pacific Dunlop also purchased Burton Cables.

1983 - As part of its expansion program, Pacific Dunlop purchased another cable company – Spinaway Cables. Having been in the industry for over 30 years at the time, Spinaway had a niche market that Pacific Dunlop believed would complement and enhance its current stable of products.

1984 - The organisation decided to enter the New Zealand market and did so by acquiring Canzac Cables. Canzac Cables, at the time, was New Zealand’s second largest cable manufacturer. Rather than trade under its purchased name, the New Plymouth based operation was re-named Olex Cables New Zealand.

1994 - Burton and Spinaway Cables continued to trade independently until 1994, when Pacific Dunlop merged the two companies to form National Cables.

1999 - On 31 May 1999, Pacific Dunlop Limited sold its Cables Group business in Australia and New Zealand to the Management Buyout Consortium (MBO). The MBO Consortium is a partnership of Olex senior management, AMP Asset Management and Catalyst Investment Managers.

2002 - National Cables and Olex Cables merged to form the re-branded Olex.

2006 - In November 2006, the MBO Consortium sold its shares in Olex Holdings to Nexans. The acquisition by Nexans became effective on 1 December 2006. 

2008 - Olex acquires Australmold.

2012 - Olex rebrands to Nexans Olex