LED Business News: Bridgelux; Marl; Bivar; Veeco; KaiStar; Lextar

Bridgelux has appointed Brad Bullington as its new CEO, Marl and Bivar have formed a global alliance, KaiStar has ordered more LED manufacturing systems from Veeco, and Lextar has completed its merger with Wellypower.

Bridgelux appoints new CEO

Solid-state lighting (SSL) manufacturer Bridgelux Inc. has appointed Bradley Bullington as its new CEO, effective immediately. Currently VP of strategy and corporate development and general Manager of technology solutions, Bullington replaces Bill Watkins, who has moved up to chairman of the board of directors, having served as CEO for two years.

Bullington joined Bridgelux in 2010 from Seagate, where he worked with Watkins, and has been responsible for the company’s overall business strategy and all corporate and market development activities, including strategic partnerships and joint ventures, technology licensing, capital formation and the legal function. Bullington also ran Bridgelux’s Technology Solutions business.

Marl and Bivar create global opto alliance

California-based LED lighting manufacturer Bivar Inc and UK-based Marl International have formed an international opto-electronics partnership. This has manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia and a portfolio of approximately 24,000 high-performance LED and light-pipe products.

The Marl-Bivar partnership will supply and support customers around the world through a global network of agents and distributors. Both companies say that they recognize the importance of becoming a global player. Adrian Rawlinson, Marl’s managing director, said that Marl will be promoting availability of Bivar products in the UK and Europe, while Bivar is accelerating development of Marl products in North America.

The first initiative will be “moving light to the front of the panel” with the launch of an enhanced product range of panel-mount indicators and flexible light-pipes with a wide variety of features and options based on housings in metal and cost-effective nylon.

KaiStar orders more Veeco MOCVD reactors

Veeco Instruments Inc. (Nasdaq: VECO) has received an order from KaiStar Lighting Co., Ltd. for multi- and single-chamber TurboDisc MOCVD systems, including the new MaxBright M. Based in Xiamen, China, KaiStar is a joint venture between Epistar Corporation and Shenzhen Kaifa Technology Co., Ltd. The company began LED production in 2012 and is now adding more Veeco MOCVD systems as part of its 2013 capacity expansion plan.

MJ Jou, president of Epistar Corporation, said that the latest capacity expansion in Xiamen is in keeping with “our goal to maximize our position in the China LED backlighting, automotive and general illumination market.” Jou also pointed to Veeco’s quick process transfer, which he said is important as KaiStar shares its know-how across its LED manufacturing sites.

Lextar concludes merger with Wellypower

Two Taiwanese LED makers, Lextar Electronics Corp. (TAIEX: 3698) and Wellypower Optronics, have joined forces effective February 1, 2013. Announced in September 2012, the merger of Lextar and Wellypower creates an LED maker second only in size in Taiwan to Epistar.

Both companies were subsidiaries of AU Optronics. Lextar now has a capital value of NT$5 billion (US$169 million), and says that it will be able to achieve a more complete and vertically integrated business model, as well as further expanding its LED lighting and backlighting product lines and customer base.

Lextar will now be able to push its backlighting products, now used mostly for monitor and TV applications, into notebooks and smartphones. While continuing to develop SSL products including LED lamps and fixtures, Lextar will also have T5 and CCFL product lines. The merger is also expected to provide an expanded customer portfolio and OEM businesses in the US and Japan.

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