In a move to build its position in armored/MC (metal-clad) cable and flexible conduit, Southwire Co. has agreed to buy Alflex, a subsidiary of Commonwealth Industries Inc., for $60 million.

Southwire, Carrollton, Ga., will acquire all of the Alflex business, including manufacturing facilities in Long Beach, Calif.; and Rocky Mount, N.C. Both factories manufacture a variety of armored cable and flexible conduit products for the residential, commercial, industrial and OEM markets.

Alflex employs approximately 310 people. During the first three months of 2004, Alflex sold 127.7 million feet of aluminum conduits for wiring, according to Commonwealth Industries. That amounted to $31.8 million in sales and $3 million in operating profits.

Southwire said the addition of Alflex's manufacturing plants would give the company much-needed additional manufacturing capacity. It also would give Southwire access to some new products, including metallic flex and liquidtight conduit.