The lighting market has been seeing another round of acquisitions, some substantial and intriguing, such as Ideal Industries’ acquisition of Cree Inc.’s LED lighting business, a deal finalized this week that moves a traditional tool manufacturer into the middle of the lighting fray, and others that are logical line extensions into connected lighting systems and smart buildings.
Fixture manufacturer H.E. Williams, Carthage, MO, acquired Platformatics Inc., Bloomington, IN, a provider of network-based systems for the smart building Internet of Things (IoT) market. In a release, Williams said Platformatics solutions improve end-user comfort, productivity and safety through Power over Ethernet (PoE) connectivity.
The acquisition is part of Williams’s pursuit of growth in low-voltage PoE lighting and positions Platformatics to drive innovation for intelligent buildings, the company said. Platformatics will continue to operate as an independent division of H.E. Williams, Inc.
Lighting giant Signify, based in the Netherlands, announced a deal to buy WiZ Connected, a Hong Kong-based provider of WiFi-based connected lighting software. The move extends Signify’s reach into WiFi-based lighting. WiZ will continue to operate under its own brand name as
“We are very pleased to join forces with the teams of WiZ Connected who have developed a great technology platform enabling us to address a larger customer base in the growing market of Wi-Fi-based lighting,” said Signify CEO Eric Rondolat, in a release. “It perfectly complements Signify’s existing offers and will help us to continue to deliver an experience rich in light and intuitive in use for our customers.”
Osram’s ongoing negotiations with Bain Capital and Carlyle Group is another example of an industry in flux. A May 15 Reuters report said “the private equity group could bid 35 euros a share for the company.”
An Osram spokesperson said the three companies are still in the due diligence process regarding a potential acquisition of Osram. In related news, the German magazine Boerse Online said Bain and Carlyle may make a takeover bid “in the coming weeks.”
All of the acquisition activity and new players in the lighting market are not lost on electrical distributors, and many respondents to Electrical Wholesaling’s 2019 Top 200 survey said the changes with some of the largest lighting companies were forcing them to establish new alliances with new and smaller companies.
In some cases, Top 200 survey respondents said some of the new lighting players were offering products of equal quality at lower prices than the offerings of some of the traditional brands in the industry, but that they were very careful with which LED products they would stock from companies new to the North American market.