If at first you don’t succeed: GO Scale pursues new lighting deal with Philips
March 02, 2016
After its bid to acquire the Lumileds lighting unit from Royal Philips (AMS: PHIA) was blocked by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. in January, Chinese private equity investor GO Scale Capital has its eyes on a new target. Well, not entirely new.
The firm has entered a bid to acquire a different lighting business from Philips, according to a Bloomberg report, in a deal that could value the unit at €5 billion. GO Scale Capital had previously agreed to buy the Lumileds business for about $2.8 billion, but the deal was terminated because of a lack of approval from U.S. regulators. Bloomberg reports that Philips may have similar concerns about this new bid.
Philips CEO Frans van Houten has expressed plans throughout the past year to disentangle the Amsterdam-based company's lighting divisions from its healthcare and consumer-lifestyle unit. A sale of those businesses has emerged as the most likely option, with Blackstone, Onex and Apollo also rumored to be interested, though GO Scale has proven tenacious in its pursuit. Said firm chairman Sonny Wu after the Lumileds deal was nixed: "Moving forward, we are not deterred from our goal of building the world's leading LED lighting company. … We will be relentless in pursuing opportunities underpinned by our unwavering mission of building world-class technology enterprises." So far, Wu has been a man of his word.