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1 September 2006


GE buys Emcore's stake in GELcore for $100m; partners with Nichia

Optical communications component maker Emcore Corp of Somerset, NJ, USA has sold its 49% stake in its joint venture GELcore LLC of Cleveland, OH, USA, which was formed in 1999 and makes high-brightness LED-based light systems for traffic lights and other displays, for $100m to JV partner General Electric Co.

GELcore has slumped from a $2.5m profit in 2004 to a net loss of $800,000 last year and $1.3m for first-half 2006. Emcore expects to record an $85-90m gain on the sale.

Subsequently, GE's Consumer & Industrial business unit and GaN-based LED and laser diode maker Nichia Corp of Anan, Tokushima, Japan announced a strategic alliance to support GELcore. The agreement combines "GELcore's LED
system strengths in the transportation, signage, specialty illumination, and general illumination segments with Nichia's extensive phosphor and optoelectronics products, such as LEDs," says GE. Both companies expect to benefit significantly from each other's expertise and penetrate the
high­growth LED general illumination segment.

"GE and Nichia's combined excellence creates a preeminent alliance that is ideally suited to support GELcore's efforts to accelerate the growth and penetration of LED­based lighting solutions in the $12bn global lighting segment," says Michael B. Petras Jr, vice president, Electrical Distribution & Lighting, and former head of GELcore. The agreement "clearly demonstrates GE's commitment to solid state lighting technology," he adds.

Noboru Tazaki, Nichia's executive vice president and chief operating officer, states "This is a historic agreement when you consider that GE, a world leader in traditional lighting technology and LED systems and Nichia, a world leader in phosphor and optoelectronics technology are joining forces
to advance LED technology and accelerate the penetration of LEDs into the general lighting industry."

Previously, GELcore has had to buy blue-spectrum LEDs for solid-state lighting from external suppliers, but now GE will have a more direct supply of LEDs from Nichia. GE's greater involvement in solid-state lighting follows November 2005's buyout by light bulb maker Philips of its former joint venture partner Agilent's stake in solid-state lighting manufacturer
Lumileds Lighting of San Jose, CA, USA (now Philips Lumileds). Both Philips Lumileds and lighting manufacturer Osram's LED-making subsidiary Osram Opto Semiconductors of Regensburg, Germany already make blue-spectrum LEDs for solid-state lighting.

Visit Gelcore: http://www.gelcore.com

Visit Nichia: http://www.nichia.co.jp