20 December 2021
ams OSRAM selling horticulture lighting systems business Fluence to Signify
ams OSRAM of Premstaetten, Austria has agreed to sell its horticulture lighting systems business and brand Fluence of Austin, TX, USA to Signify of Eindhoven, The Netherlands for $272m (€242m) on a debt-free/cash-free basis, in line with previous comments on an expected larger-size disposal.
The transaction represents a further significant step in the execution of ams OSRAM’s strategy to focus and re-align its business portfolio on its core technology areas in illumination, visualization and sensing, which continues to include advanced LED solutions for horticulture lighting. The firm will continue to be a strategic LED supplier to the combined business for horticultural applications.
Fluence is a global provider of energy-efficient LED lighting system solutions for the horticultural industry. A pioneer in creating white light that mimics the spectrum of sunlight, the firm employs about 200 people. In the trailing 12 months (October 2020 to September 2021), Fluence generated $141m (€124m) in revenue. Acquired by OSRAM in 2018, it was recently named in the inaugural list of ‘Next Big Things in Tech’ by US business magazine Fast Company, where its lighting solutions earned an honorable mention recognizing for the firm’s contribution to changing how the world cultivates food.
“Fluence and Signify are a strong match in complementary lighting expertise for the horticulture market,” says Wilhelm Nehring, CEO of ams OSRAM’s Digital business unit. “Signify is an industry leader with over a century of history bringing innovative lighting technology, products and services to market,” he comments.
Signify says that the acquisition of Fluence is in line with its strategy to expand in attractive growth segments and its commitment to improving food availability by providing growers with horticultural lighting that helps them to reduce resource consumption and increase yields. The global agricultural lighting market is expected to grow by more than 20% per year to €1.6bn in 2024.
Specifically, the acquisition should extend Signify’s position in the attractive North American horticultural lighting market. Fluence’s horticultural lighting technology includes light recipes for the legal growing of cannabis – which, due to the legalization in Canada and many US states in recent years, currently generates the majority of Fluence’s sales – and light recipes for the company’s fast-growing business to grow other crops. Fluence’s technology also includes more than 140 issued and pending patents, focusing on areas such as light quality, thermal management and installation methods. Currently, Fluence generates most of its sales in North America.
“ams OSRAM will continue to build on its position as a leader in red, blue and white LEDs for the horticulture market,” says Frans Scheper, executive VP Opto Semiconductor business at ams OSRAM. ams OSRAM offers a horticulture LED portfolio for professional top lighting, inter lighting and vertical farming applications. The High- and Mid-Power LED families include all important wavelengths for plant growth with 660nm (hyper red), 450nm (deep blue) and 730nm (far red) in three different radiation angles 80°, 120° and 150°. “We look forward to continue providing Signify, and Fluence as part of Signify, leading technology for their business,” he adds. Fluence will operate as an entity within Signify’s agricultural lighting business in Division Digital Solutions.
“Since Fluence’s founding, it has been our sole mission to improve the interaction between light and life to yield a healthier and more sustainable world. Adding our lighting solutions to Signify’s strong portfolio empowers our combined businesses to deliver the world’s most advanced horticulture technology to cultivators on a global scale,” reckons Fluence’s CEO David Cohen. “The combination of our companies will immediately expand our collective footprints and inject valuable expertise into both companies’ product innovations.”
The acquisition is expected to close in first-half 2022, subject to standard regulatory approvals and other conditions.