• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

OSRAM Sylvania plants sold to investment group

A spokesman for OSRAM Sylvania didn't rule out job cuts at the company's Versailles plant after the corporation that owns it was recently sold to a Chinese consortium. The $442 million sale was announced last week in a news release from OSRAM's Munich, Germany, headquarters. "Due to the fundamental change in the lighting market, OSRAM has made capacity adjustments in the past, and this remains an option globally in the future. Specific details about future plans are not available at this time," wrote Glen Gracia, head of media relations for LEDvance, the name of the lamps and lighting portion of the company. Gracia had requested that The Sun ask questions by email. The Sun asked two: "What impact will the sale have on the Versailles plant?" and "How many people presently work there?" The answer to the latter question was "approximately 475." Earlier, by phone, Gracia was asked whether the new owner would lay off workers in Versailles. Last week's release from Germany seemed to offer reassurance to employees, at least in the near term: "The transaction is focused on growth and will not induce additional personnel measures due to a limited overlap in organizational structures between the involved companies. The agreements and principles safeguarding the future that OSRAM and the employee representatives agreed upon remain in place. Consequently, works agreements and social plans will not be changed until the end of 2018." The lamps and lighting portion of the company recently took the name LEDvance and has been operating as an independent company for about a month. According to the news release, the three buyers are strategic investor IDG Capital Partners, Chinese lighting company MLS, Co., Ltd., and financial investor Yiwu State-Owned Assets Operation Center. Versailles plant manager Michael McNulty declined to speak about the sale or its impact on his employees, referring all questions to Gracia.

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