Southwire Co., Carrollton, Ga., announced Jan. 20 that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase certain assets of Rhode Island-based American Insulated Wire Corp. (AIW), a subsidiary of Leviton Manufacturing Co.

Southwire will acquire the AIW brands and two manufacturing facilities — one in Douglas, Ga., and one in Coffeyville, Kan. Both plants produce a variety of electrical wire and cable products for commercial, industrial, retail and OEM markets. The purchase is expected to close by the end of February.

“Acquiring AIW will allow us to diversify our product offering while continuing to strengthen our position in our core copper building wire business,” said Stuart Thorn, Southwire CEO, in a Southwire release.

Leviton, Melville, N.Y., has owned AIW since purchasing it in 1936, and had built the company into a visible brand of portable cords and other wire and cable products sold through electrical distributors and home centers. While the company was best known for its portable cords, one New Jersey electrical distributor said AIW had a surprisingly large manufacturing capacity for other types of wire and cable.

Selling AIW to Southwire signals a shift in Leviton's focus, said Don Hendler, president and CEO of Leviton, in a separate release. “As we continue to shift our offering to more value-added systems and solutions, we no longer see AIW's wire and cable products as strategic to the future direction of the Leviton Company,” said Hendler.

At Southwire, AIW joins a large and still growing product base of wire and cable and related products, including building wire and cable, metal-clad cable, FlatWire Ready products, cord products, utility cable products, industrial power cable, OEM wire products, copper and aluminum rod and continuous casting technology.

Southwire last year also became a supplier of wire and cable installation tools for commercial, industrial and utility construction markets with the acquisition of Phoenix-based Maxis.