Philips accepts lower bid for LEDS unit after Chinese deal foundered

philipsPhilips has reached agreement to sell an 80.1% stake in its LEDS lighting unit for $1.5bn to a group of investors headed by New York-based Apollo Global Management.

Apollo will buy the remaining stake in the company over the next three years, the Financieele Dagblad said on Monday.

The sale price is far below the $2.8bn agreed earlier this year in a deal with Go Scale Capital of China. This transaction foundered on objections by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States which did not want the company’s technology to pass to China. A major unit of Lumileds is located in San Jose, California.

Founded in 1999, Lumileds claims to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-power LEDs and a pioneer in the use of solid-state lighting solutions for everyday purposes including automotive lighting, computer displays, LCD televisions, signage and signaling and general lighting.

Lumileds booked 2015 turnover of $2bn and has a workforce of 9,000 worldwide.

The sale is part of Philips’ long-term strategy to concentrate on health technology. Combined with the sale of Philips Lighting earlier this year, Amsterdam-based Philips has a well-filled war chest and plans to retire old debt and to seek new acquisitions in the future.

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