LED Business Roundup: Illumitex, AMS and TAOS, Philips, Taiwan and China

June 21, 2011
Illumitex has raised USD 13.52M in equity, austriamicrosystems has agreed to buy TAOS, Philips has reported weaker demand for lighting products, and Taiwan and China have agreed to develop unified standards for LEDs.
Illumitex raises $13.5 million

LED lighting startup Illumitex has raised $13.52 million in equity, according to a government filing. The Austin, Texas-based company is looking to raise $25.23 million in total in this funding round, says a Reuters article.

Investors listed on Illumitex’s filing include DFJ Mercury and New Enterprise Associates, both of which are previous investors. The company, founded in 2005, had a $10.5-million B round in March 2008.

Last year, Illumitex unveiled its Aduro series of high-power LED modules, a range of 4- and 16-die LED arrays that emit uniform, narrow-beam white light without the need for expensive, inefficient secondary optics. The company is addressing the general lighting market, as well as architectural and horticultural lighting.

austriamicrosystems acquires TAOS

Austriamicrosystems AG (SIX:AMS), an Austria-based designer and manufacturer of analog ICs, including LED driver ICs, has entered into an agreement with Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Solutions, Inc., headquartered in Plano, Texas (USA), to acquire 100% of the shares in TAOS. The transaction is expected to close within the next eight weeks, and is likely to be worth approximately USD 320 million.

TAOS is an established supplier of light-sensing products, including display-management solutions such as ambient light sensors, proximity sensors and color sensors. TAOS supplies these products to manufacturers of smartphones, tablet PCs, HDTVs and laptops, among others.

For fiscal year 2010, TAOS recorded audited revenues of USD 81 million (2009: USD 40 million) and an operating profit margin exceeding 30%. The companies have had a close relationship with each other for several years, since TAOS has been a customer of austriamicrosystems’ foundry business. More details.

Philips reports weaker demand for lighting products

Lighting manufacturer Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) has reported that weaker market demand, mainly in Western Europe, will affect the company’s results in its Lighting business.

“Reflecting weaker-than-expected market conditions,” said Philips, “especially in the consumer sector in Western Europe and construction activity in mature markets, Lighting is expected to report low single-digit comparable sales growth in the second quarter of 2011.”

Incremental investments in innovation and marketing will adversely impact EBITA, which is estimated to be around EUR 85 million in the quarter.

Philips also said that Lighting will be led by Frans van Houten and Ron Wirahadiraksa from the 1st of July, following the departure of current CEO Rudy Provoost http://www.ledsmagazine.com/press/31375. This arrangement will stay in place until the appointment of a new Lighting CEO and CFO respectively.

Taiwan and China plan to set LED standards

Taiwan and China have agreed to develop unified industrial standards for LEDs, photovoltaic cells and flat-panel displays, according to an article in The China Post.

The announcement was made at the end of the Eighth Cross-Strait Communications Industry and Technical Standards Forum held in Taipei. During the forum, Taiwanese and Chinese representatives signed three memoranda of understanding (MOU) on promoting unified standards for LED, photovoltaic and flat panel display technologies.

“The two sides have also agreed to form respective technical experts' committee to start working on unified standards,” said Wen Ku, deputy director of the China Communications Standards Association.

Steve Chen, chairman of Taiwan's SINOCON Industrial Standards Foundation, said China is the world's biggest market for LEDs, for which Taiwan is the top manufacturer. “If Taiwan and China launch unified standards, we can be the world leader in LED industry,” he said.