Bankrupt Healthe owes its UV-C supplier and its billionaire owner

Jan. 12, 2022
The move from circadian lighting to disinfection did not go well. Now Crystal IS is out $2.7 million, and Stephen Ross $8.2 million, Chapter 7 filing reveals.

Healthe Inc, the company that crashed after changing course to focus on UV-C luminaires, owes UV-C LED provider Crystal IS $2.7 million, bankruptcy papers show. Crystal is Healthe’s second-largest creditor after billionaire co-owner and real estate tycoon Stephen Ross, owed $8.2 million.

Orlando-based Healthe filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Delaware in December.

The move came a few months after a curious episode in which CEO Gerard Meyer lasted mere weeks, with Healthe neither offering an explanation nor announcing his departure or a replacement.

Meyer’s short tenure seemed to signal trouble at the company, which was already engaged in a patent lawsuit regarding rights to far UV-C technology with Somersworth, NH-based Far-UV Sterilray.

Indeed, on Dec. 10, Healthe filed at least two different documents with the United States Bankruptcy Court District of Delaware detailing its distressed state. LEDs Magazine has seen both.

One of the documents describes the company’s assets and liabilities. It states that Healthe owes Green Island, NY-based Crystal IS $2.7 million in a “disputed” claim. Crystal is owned by Japanese conglomerate Asahi Kasei.

As LEDs reported in late 2020, Crystal IS provided the 265-nm UV-C LEDs that Healthe built into ceiling troffers it provided to the Miami Dolphins football team for use in disinfecting the locker room and other facilities.

The Healthe Air fittings were aimed at zapping the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. The Dolphins announced the Healthe installation in August 2020. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross had become a substantial owner of privately-held Healthe a few months earlier, in May 2020.

Ross, who is also the chairman of New York-based international real-estate giant Related Companies, seemed interested in bringing Healthe UV-C products into Related’s vast real estate portfolio, which includes New York City’s Hudson Yards complex of office, hotel, residential, and retail space.

Such an expansive possibility might partially explain why Healthe had changed strategic direction toward UV-C, after nearly two decades of emphasizing products in circadian lighting, where it had pioneered developments and once worked with NASA in developing lighting for the International Space Station.

But the UV-C sales never materialized. Instead, Healthe owes Ross’ company, SMR Trust, headquartered in Hudson Yards, $8.2 million (Stephen Ross’ middle initial is M). The bankruptcy court papers do not explain why. In three separate tick boxes on the court form, they describe SMR’s claim as “contingent,” “unliquidated,” and “disputed”.

The other court filing details the ownership of Healthe. It reveals that a Ross company called SMR Revocable Trust owns about 28.5% of the company, making Ross Healthe’s second-largest owner after Lighting Science Group’s 44.1%.

Lighting Science (LSG), based in Warwick, RI, is a holding company that was once an operating company running various lighting divisions including the circadian business that would become Healthe. It split those divisions into three separate companies in February 2019. In addition to Healthe, the other two were horticultural lighting firm VividGro and contract lighting manufacturer Global Value Lighting, a joint venture with China’s MLS.

LSG is backed by investment firm Pegasus Capital.

LEDs plans to bring you more from Healthe’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy papers, which also mention developments with Nichia, Ushio, Sterilray, Eden Park Illumination, FarUV Solutions, Tupperware,, and others, including a company called Hire an Esquire.

The federal Chapter 7 bankruptcy process is a liquidation of assets used to pay creditors. It is different from Chapter 11, from which companies can re-emerge after working out payment agreements.

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

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