DURHAM, N.C. — Cree, Inc. announced that it has completed the sale of its Lighting Products business unit to IDEAL INDUSTRIES, Inc. The transaction includes the LED lighting fixtures, lamps and corporate lighting solutions business for commercial, industrial and consumer applications. The transaction, which was previously announced on March 15, has closed and was effective May 13.
“This represents a pivotal chapter for Cree as we sharpen our focus to become a semiconductor powerhouse in silicon carbide and GaN technologies,” said Gregg Lowe, CEO of Cree. “Cree’s technologies are helping to power major transitions in our economy, whether it’s the automotive industry’s transition to electric vehicles or the telecommunications sector’s move to faster 5G networks. Our leadership in silicon carbide and GaN positions us well to help customers improve performance and realize greater efficiencies.”
The company will use the proceeds from the sale to accelerate the growth of Wolfspeed, its Power and RF business, and expand its semiconductor operations. The company recently announced plans to invest up to $1 billion in the expansion of its silicon carbide capacity to meet the growing demand for silicon carbide and GaN-on-silicon-carbide technologies. The expansion includes the development of a state-of-the-art, automated 200mm silicon carbide fabrication facility and a materials mega factory at its U.S. campus headquarters in Durham, N.C., allowing wide bandgap semiconductors that enable the dramatic technology shifts underway within the automotive, communications infrastructure and industrial markets.
Cree Lighting will become a separate operating division of IDEAL and will continue to be led by current management.
“We’re very excited to welcome Cree Lighting to the IDEAL family,” said Jim James, Chairman and CEO of IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. “We’re acquiring a very special organization poised for sustained success, and we look forward to assisting Cree Lighting in realizing its full potential.”
IDEAL is a family-owned, 103-year-old professionally managed company with deep ties to the electrical industry. IDEAL has a long history of successful innovation and acquisitions and operates from a long-term, generational perspective. Cree Lighting will become IDEAL’s 20th branded operating unit.
Craig Atwater, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cree Lighting, and the Cree Lighting team will join IDEAL, and the business will continue to operate out of Durham, N.C, Racine, Wis. and other global locations. Over the past two years, Atwater and his team have led the organization’s return to operational and innovative excellence.
“This is a great opportunity for all of us at Cree Lighting, our channel partners and customers,” said Atwater. “The IDEAL family’s commitment to sustainable long-term growth is evident throughout the company’s history. In so many ways, becoming part of the IDEAL family returns Cree Lighting to its earliest foundations and values. Our people and partners are going to see that IDEAL is a strong cultural and strategic fit for Cree Lighting.”
The transaction adds a widely recognized global brand with a reputation for innovation and a strong product line to IDEAL’s portfolio. Cree Lighting also provides the company with a high-performance lighting agency network and sales team, significant manufacturing capability in Racine, Wis., a strong management team and organization, as well as a large share of the growing global commercial lighting market.
“We believe the global commercial lighting market is nearing a transformational phase. Building owners, architects and engineers clearly want large-scale solutions that are smart, sustainable and human. But we see them returning to strong brands like Cree that can consistently and dependably deliver superior performance, customer support and engineering excellence,” said James. “We expect that with our support and expertise, Cree Lighting will thrive throughout these changing market conditions.”
James said he expects the company will find added growth opportunities with Cree Lighting’s SmartCast® Technology and Audacy® wireless control system now installed at Wrigley Field in Chicago, PetCo Park in San Diego, Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver and other large-scale venues in the U.S., Europe, and New Zealand.
Tagged with acquisition, Cree, IDEAL Industries