Philips has decided to merge its lighting components businesses into a separate unit worth up to €2bn, in a major step in its ongoing strategy to refocus on healthcare and high-end lighting systems, Reuters has reported. The company, which started out 120 years ago as a pioneer in electric lighting, wants to narrow its focus in that area, to large, complex lighting systems rather than light-emitting diodes (LEDs), under pressure from a severe price war. By spinning off its Lumileds and its automotive lighting businesses, Philips said the unit would be better placed to compete for new business from outside customers who currently regard the Philips group as a competitor. “As a strong standalone company they will have increased flexibility to attract investments and customers to accelerate growth and to exploit scale,” Philips chief executive, Frans van Houten, who took the helm of the group in 2011, said.
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