Layoffs and Acquisitions Signal Shift at OSRAM

OSRAM, Munich, Germany, moved to boost its presence in entertainment lighting for shows and events with a deal to acquire privately owned Clay Paky SpA, Bergamo, Italy. The specialty lighting manufacturer generates annual sales of more than €60 million making and selling moving heads, follow spots and projectors used at live concerts, in theaters and studios as well as in the emerging area of “architainment.” Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s expected to close by the end of the calendar year, subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities.

“Clay Paky is a selective addition and improves the position of the specialty lighting business unit in a highly attractive market,” said Wolfgang Dehen, CEO of OSRAM.

The move comes as OSRAM is restructuring to adapt to changing dynamics in the lighting market. OSRAM saw its solid-state lighting performance grow rapidly in the third quarter and a faster than expected decline in traditional general illumination business. Against that backdrop, the company announced plans to continue on its cost-cutting path in its legacy business by eliminating 7,800 jobs worldwide over a period of three years — around 1,700 in Germany and 6,100 in the rest of the world.

“While earnings continue to develop nicely, the growing market acceptance of LED technology is, as already announced, causing a significantly faster decline of the traditional business,” said Dehen.

About the Clay Paky acquisition, OSRAM said the innovation-driven entertainment lighting market is very attractive, with mid-single digit percentage growth rates. Clay Paky will be part of OSRAM’s Specialty Lighting business unit, which includes the company’s automotive lighting as well as the display and optics activities. Clay Paky, founded in 1976, employs about 100 people.

In other news at OSRAM, the company announced plans to move its North American headquarters from its long-time base in Danvers, Mass., to a new facility in nearby Wilmington. The move keeps Osram within the same technology corridor. It expects to have the new headquarters up and running in summer 2015.

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