Osram fends off Siemens challenge over LED lighting strategy
At the AGM Berlien told shareholders “Everyone’s talking about digitalization – but we’re investing in it. Only those who navigate through the dramatically changing
lighting industry decisively and with courage and speed can be successful.”
Berlien explained that Osram is putting the focus on sustainable growth and wants to take even greater advantage of the potential offered by semiconductor-based lighting technologies. Berlien made it clear that an important strategic step would be the carve-out process of the general lighting lamps business.
“The operational carve-out is planned as of April 1, while the legal carve-out is planned as of July 1,” said Berlien, which confirmed the timeline announced
Following the carve-out of the lamps business, Osram will be based on three strategic pillars: Specialty Lighting (SP); luminaires, solutions, and electronic
components (Lighting Solutions & Systems, LSS); LED components (Opto Semiconductors, OS); “With our three-pillar strategy, we have a solid foundation upon which to position ourselves even more strongly as a technology company,” suggested Berlien.
But OSRAM Licht’s biggest shareholder Siemens used the AGM to criticize the strategy of expansion in the general LED lighting market. Siemens criticized Berlien’s performance last year and tried to push through what amounted to a vote of confidence in the chief executive. In the end 71 percent of investors at the AGM supported Berlien’s business plan for Osram, the world’s second-biggest lighting company.
Representives of former parent company Siemens, which retains about 18 percent of Osram, were critical of the strategy claiming that it would increase the risk profile of Osram. But Berlien argued that rapid technological change meant that no investments were devoid of risk.
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