Belden, Inc., St. Louis, Mo., agreed to purchase Cable Systems Holding Co., owner of telecom copper cable manufacturer Cable Systems International (CSI), Phoenix, Ariz. Belden paid $180 million in cash for the unit, which will operate as a stand-alone subsidiary.

CSI was the Phoenix Works of AT&T Corp., from which it was spun off in 1995 when AT&T sold it to an investor group and members of senior management. CSI had revenues of $300 million in the fiscal year ending March 31, 1999, and employs 1,500 people.

Expanding its ability to provide the "last mile" of voice, video and data communication cabling systems is a strategic priority for Belden, said C. Baker Cunningham, chairman, president and CEO. "The merger with CSI greatly enhances this capability. CSI is the second largest U.S. manufacturer of copper telecommunications cable and, because of its AT&T legacy, has long-standing relationships with the market's principal customers."