Philips to Sell Majority Stake in Lumileds After Earlier Deal Scrapped


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Frans van Houten, the chief executive of Philips. If the Lumileds deal is completed, Philips would retain a 19.9 percent interest for a minimum of three years.

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Toussaint Kluiters/United Photos, via Reuters

LONDON — Philips, the Dutch electronics giant, said on Monday that it would sell a controlling stake in its automotive and LED components business to affiliates of Apollo Global Management for $1.5 billion, about half the amount of a prior offer that was scrapped over concerns in the United States about Chinese involvement.

A consortium led by GO Scale Capital, an investment fund sponsored by GSR Ventures of China and Oak Investment Partners, agreed last year to acquire an 80.1 percent stake in the Philips unit, called Lumileds, for as much as $2.9 billion.

GO Scale Capital has offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and California. It has said that its goal is to “scale up its investments in China for global markets.”

But Philips canceled the deal in January after it was unable to mitigate concerns raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an interagency body known as Cfius that includes representatives from the Treasury and Justice Departments.

It is the latest example of a company abandoning or reworking a transaction because of government concerns about Chinese involvement in the transaction.

Last month, Cfius blocked a deal between the German semiconductor firm Aixtron and a Chinese company, Fujian Grand Chip, over security concerns.

Such tensions could become even stronger under the administration of President-elect Donald J. Trump, who has routinely criticized China for its business practices and recently broke with decades of diplomatic practice by speaking with Taiwan’s leader.

The Lumileds transaction is part of efforts at Philips to restructure operations to focus on areas of growth.

Its Philips Lighting unit, a business separate from Lumileds, was spun out in an initial public offering in May.

As part of the deal announced on Monday, affiliates of Apollo Global Management would pay $1.5 billion in cash for an 80.1 percent stake in Lumileds. Philips would retain a 19.9 percent interest in the company for a minimum of three years.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017 and is subject to regulatory approval.

Lumileds posted sales of about $2 billion in 2015. It has operations in more than 30 countries and about 9,000 employees worldwide.

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