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29September 2015

Plessey gains £30m loan from Deutsche Bank for LED production expansion

UK-based Plessey is to carry out a major expansion of its LED manufacturing facility in Plymouth after securing a £30m ($50m) loan from Deutsche Bank AG to finance the expansion.

The £60m ($100m) expansion will provide the base for new solid-state lighting technologies and products, increasing the firm's production capabilities by a factor of 30, more than tripling its workforce to about 535 and positioning Plessey to capture a significant share of the multi-billion dollar solid-state lighting market, it is reckoned.

Plessey says that its MaGIC (Manufactured on GaN-on-Si I/C) gallium nitride on silicon LED technology has the ability to cut the cost of LED lighting by using standard silicon manufacturing techniques instead of more traditional, expensive, sapphire-based manufacturing.

According to a new report from MarketsandMarkets, the solid-state lighting market will rise at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.31% from 2015 to $22.2bn by 2020. Growth will be driven by high-brightness LEDs delivering higher energy efficiency in all lighting applications, with solid-state lighting forming a significant part of global efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions.

"Deutsche Bank is providing us with a senior secured-term loan facility that meets our financial needs for the next 3-5 years," says Plessey's chief financial officer Iain Silvester. "The bank has come up with a progressive flexible facility that supports our expansion plans for our manufacturing capacity here in Plymouth," he adds.

Plessey plans to increase its annual manufacturing capacity from over 100 million square millimetres of gallium nitride material to more than 3 billion square millimetres. The facility modifications, which are also supported by £6.7m from the Regional Growth Fund, will take place during 2015, with additional manufacturing tools and facilities coming on-stream through the end of this year through to 2017. During this time, Plessey expects about 400 new jobs to be created.

"We are entering a very exciting period for the company, with our new technology and products now gaining traction in one of the fastest-growing technology markets, solid-state lighting," says CEO Michael LeGoff. "The expansion is highly significant for the company but also for British high-tech manufacturing," he adds. "It aligns well with national strategies, such as the Growth Review, that support manufacturing and make the UK a global leading exporter of high-value goods."

See related items:

Plessey wins £6.7m grant from UK Regional Growth Fund for LED production expansion

Tags: Plessey GaN-on-Si HB-LEDs

Visit: www.plesseysemiconductors.com

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