Regulatory financial guidelines presumably are dictating the secretive actions of Philips in its attempt to divest the lighting businesses, while Osram has said it is on schedule for the LEDvance carve-out.
Royal Philips, it appears, will spin out the Philips Lighting business unit as an initial public offering (IPO) with the parent company retaining a majority of the shares. The company had previously indicated the it would consider an IPO but that a sale to private equity was more likely. Osram, meanwhile, continues to proffer its lamps and lighting business, now branded LEDVANCE, and still expects to financially carve out the business by July 1.
The most recent activity with the two stalwarts of the lighting industry is especially frustrating to those of us in the media industry as the companies sought to follow global regulatory guidelines on business deals. Indeed, Royal Philips warned that US-based journalist were not allowed to report on its IPO plans despite the fact that the company circulated a press release in Europe on the planned divestiture.
Reuters, however, reported that Philips will sell at least 25% of the equity in the lighting business via an IPO. The news service said the company is valued at EUR 5 billion ($5.8 billion). Moreover, the new venture will continue to utilize the Philips Lighting brand. Indeed, as we reported last year, Royal Philips seems dedicated to maintaining an ownership interest in the lighting business even while separating its healthcare-focused business.
Osram may be a different story as it attempts to sell off its lamps business and the myriad factories around the globe that make legacy lamps. The company moved slower than competitors into the LED era, although Osram has made up ground under the leadership of Jes Munk Hansen. Osram has reinforced the message that it will separate the LEDVANCE business unit by July 1.
*Updated May 12, 2016 at 11:35AM Eastern for clarifications on Osram information.