Eaton Sells Lighting Business, Expands Strengths in Other Power Sectors

March 13, 2020 by Shannon Cuthrell

As Eaton closes the sale of its LED and lighting operation, the company moves to bolster its strengths in aerospace, EV, power distribution and other markets.

Dublin-based power management giant Eaton has officially closed the sale of its lighting business, Cooper Lighting, to Netherlands-based Signify N.V., a spinoff of Philips. 

The $1.4 billion deal was first announced in late 2019. Cooper Lighting’s products run the gamut from energy efficiency and performance systems to indoor/outdoor and smart lighting units. Last year, Eaton’s lighting products brought in $1.7 billion in sales, claiming a decent chunk of the company’s total 2019 revenue of $21.4 billion.

In a press release from October, Eaton said that the decision to sell the lighting business came after a “comprehensive review of various potential transaction alternatives to maximize shareholder value.” 

As the LED lighting industry shifts towards IoT and connected products, this deal with Signify is just the latest item in Eaton’s move to expand its strengths in other market segments, like power distribution, aerospace, and electric vehicles. The completion of Eaton’s deal with Signify comes just a few months after it announced it would be selling its hydraulics business for $3.3 billion to Danish HVAC provider Danfoss A/S. The hydraulics operation produced components, systems, and services for industrial and mobile equipment. 


Image courtesy of Eaton


Increasing its power distribution portfolio is also an area of interest for Eaton. In February, Eaton acquired Power Distribution Inc. to expand its power distribution and monitoring equipment and services for data centers. The head of Eaton’s Electrical Sector Americas region said in a news release that the acquisition will allow the company to add to its existing offerings and service for its data center customers. 

Additionally, announcing its “everything as a grid” initiative March 12, positions EATON in a space among competitors where energy transmission is becoming a staple of power-based companies. 

Uday Yadav, president and chief operating officer of Eaton’s Electrical Sector, projected in the press release that grid capability will become essential to homes, communities, and businesses globally.

“Eaton is uniquely positioned to help customers make this transition a reality through breakthrough electrical technologies alongside our leading approach to digitalization and cybersecurity.”

Eaton also recently acquired France-based Souriau-Sunbank Connection Technologies for $920 million. Joining Eaton’s Aerospace Group, Souriau-Sunbank provides electrical interconnect solutions for clients in aerospace, defense, energy, transportation, and industrial settings. 

Cooper Lighting’s new owner, Signify N.V., plans to leverage Eaton’s lighting offerings to boost its presence in North America, where it competes with Acuity Brands, GE Lighting, and other industry players headquartered in the U.S.

Formerly known as Philips Lighting N.V., Signify N.V. spun out of its parent company in 2016, though it still uses the Philips brand for its consumer products. Signify also offers an IoT platform that collects and aggregates lighting device data. Its architectural lighting systems operate under two brands: Modular Lighting Instruments and Color Kinetics. 


Cover image courtesy of Eaton.