Business News: Future Lighting, LG Innotek, PhotonStar, Nichia, Martin

Future Lighting Solutions has signed a global LED distribution deal with LG Innotek, PhotonStar has raised funds and signed a licensing deal, Nichia has received a favorable patent-infringement judgment, and Martin Professional has been acquired by Harman.

Future Lighting and LG Innotek sign distribution deal

Future Lighting Solutions (FLS) and LG Innotek have signed a worldwide distribution agreement through which FLS will sell LG Innotek’s entire portfolio of LED lighting products, ranging from LED packages to integrated solutions.

“We are excited about LG Innotek’s exceptionally strong portfolio of LED products, aggressive technology road map, and unparalleled quality manufacturing capabilities for the general illumination market,” said Gerry Duggan, executive vice president of Future Electronics. “This will further strengthen our proficiency in serving our customers’ growing demand for best-in-class LED lighting solutions.”

FLS recently restructured its distribution agreement with Philips Lumileds, allowing FLS to distribute products from other LED manufacturers.

PhotonStar raises cash to support further growth

PhotonStar LED Group plc (AIM: PSL), a UK-based LED lighting manufacturer, has raised approximately GBP1.57m (around $2.5m) through the sale of just over 13 million new shares to institutional investors.

The funds will support the company’s next stage of growth and specifically finance a new, wireless, circadian-lighting product range using PhotonStar’s ChromaWhite technology. The range will include retrofit lamps for industry-standard lighting systems. The technology simulates the lighting levels of natural daylight, with positive effects on human health and productivity, says the company.

PhotonStar also recently announced its first licensing agreement, with a leading LED chip manufacturer, for its next-generation chip-design patents. Products using PhotonStar’s IP are expected to reach the market by 2014.

PhotonStar says that it has a substantial IP platform, comprising a total of 15 patent families covering advanced LED chip design, optimal low-cost packaging, advanced color mixing and control.

James Mckenzie, CEO of PhotonStar LED Group plc, said that licensing the company’s LED chip-design IP to third parties will be a key part of its business going forward. “This agreement is a major validation of our LED chip-design approach and is expected to produce LED chips with extremely high levels of chip light extraction, making them some of the lowest cost and most efficient chips available on the market.”

Holiday lights infringe Nichia patents

Düsseldorf District Court in Germany has found in favor of LED maker Nichia Corporation in its patent-infringement lawsuit against Hornbach-Baumarkt-AG, a distributor of LED-based Christmas illumination products.

The products were found to infringe Nichia's patent EP 936 682 (DE 697 02 929), which covers the combination of a GaN-based blue LED with a YAG phosphor.

Harman acquires Martin Professional

Harman (NYSE:HAR), a global audio and infotainment group, has reached an agreement to acquire Martin Professional A/S of Denmark, a provider of lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors, for EUR 110 million. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, and is expected to close early in 2013.

Martin Professional is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aktieselskabet Schouw & Co., and had revenues of approximately US$150 million in fiscal 2011. It employs over 450 people across its operations, including state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Denmark and the United Kingdom.

Dinesh Paliwal, Harman’s chairman, president and CEO, said the acquisition would enhance Harman’s strategy to “provide system solutions to our customers…as we will be able to offer a full audio and lighting electronics solution for the live stage and events as well as permanent avenues and installations.”

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