2018 Year-End Industry Review: Things You Can’t Miss About the Big Names

There have been ups and downs in the LED industry in 2018. New technologies have continued to evolve while many leading industry players have made critical decisions to cut off old business. LEDinside has selected some significant updates of the influential companies in the industry to wrap up the year.

Philips Lighting becomes Signify

As one of the most famous lighting brands in the world, Philips Lighting officially changed its name to Signify in 2018. The company announced the name change plan as a gesture to transform the company. It has started to use the new name from May 16, 2018 and expects the change to be implemented in all the countries since 2019. Meanwhile, the company will continue to use the Philips brand name under the existing licensing agreement with Royal Philips.

GE quits lighting business; Current sold to American Industrial Partner

General Electronic (GE) announced its plan to cut its lighting division by the end of 2017 as a process of company restructuring. At its 2Q18 earning conference call, the company reported that it has closed its global automotive lighting business and finished the lighting sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Meanwhile, GE has been working on selling the rest of the lighting business and Current, power by GE by the end of 2018.

In November 2018, GE has announced that Current, power by GE will be sold to American Industrial Partners (AIP), a private equity firm based in New York. The transaction is expected to close in early 2019.

Meanwhile, GE is still processing the selling of its North American consumer lighting business as it does not include in the deal with AIP. Previously there were rumors saying that Chinese companies were interested in bidding GE’s lighting business. However, the sayings are not like to happen since the dispute between the U.S. and China went more intense in the past few months.

Osram axe luminaires business and might be sold to private equity

The German LED giant Osram has also announced its decision to sell its luminaires business in July. The company has continued to address its position as a high technology company and put focus on automotive lighting, sensing applications and digital lighting solutions. In November, Osram has revised its business structure into Automotive (formerly part of Specialty Lighting), Digital and Opto Semiconductors.

By the end of 2018, it was reported that two U.S. private equity firms, Bain Capital and Carlyle are eyeing a buyout of Osram. The company has been in difficulties with its financial condition. It has cut its profit expectation twice in 2018 and the share price was in the bottom in four year.

Cree acquires Infineon RF power business and adjusts its business focus
Cree has acquired assets of Infineon Technology’s Radio Frequency Power Business for EUR 345 million (US$ 393 million) in March. With the acquisition, the U.S. LED company aims to expand its Wolfspeed business.

The business unit of Wolfspeed has grown significantly in the past year and Cree has put a focal point on the semiconductor business.

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