Cooper Lighting acquires LED specialist Io Lighting

Further consolidation in the LED lighting market as a large lighting manufacturer buys a smaller company with expertise in LEDs.

Cooper Lighting, a major lighting manufacturer based in Peachtree City, Georgia, has acquired Illinois-based Io Lighting, an LED commercial lighting fixture company.

"Io Lighting is a market leader in the United States, and this acquisition significantly enhances Cooper Lighting’s position in the rapidly expanding LED market," said Neil Schrimsher, president of Cooper Lighting.

Based in Vernon Hills, Io Lighting designs and manufactures technically advanced, environmentally friendly indoor and outdoor architectural products which include linear floodlights, cove lighting, illuminated handrails, wall sconces and signage.

Cooper also bought Vermont-based Powerline Communications, Inc. (PCI), a manufacturer of digital lighting control panels. Expected sales for the two companies in 2007 are approximately $17 million and the combined purchase price is $22 million.

According to an article on the Chicago Business News website, Io was sold to Cooper by a private equity firm, VenCom Group Inc., for $16.65 million.

James Otterbeck, Io’s CEO and VenCom’s president, said "It was really the right time to sell," adding that VenCom had grown Io as much as it could and that Io would benefit from the sales and distribution channels that Cooper can provide. Otterbeck said that since Io started in 2002, VenCom has invested about $2 million in the company.

"[Io Lighting's] innovative products have given the lighting design community a wide range of tools to solve many unique illumination challenges," continued Schrimsher, "and Io will be a strong addition to our architectural and specification product lines and to our total lighting business portfolio."

"Io Lighting has built very strong capabilities in developing LED applications for architectural lighting, and we are very excited to be part of Cooper Lighting, where we will be able to accelerate our new product development and reach a broader customer-base," said Ann Reo, President and founder of Io Lighting.

Cooper Lighting is one of eight divisions of Cooper Industries, Ltd., a global manufacturer incorporated in Bermuda with 2006 revenues of $5.2 billion.

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