Actis-controlled Halonix revives acquisition of Luxlite and Trifa in Europe

One year after its proposed deal to acquire twin automotive lighting products distributors Luxlite and Trifa in Europe came unstuck, PE-led lighting products maker Halonix (formerly Phoenix Lamps) has once again announced that it has signed an agreement to snap up International Lamps Holding Co SA for an undisclosed amount. The Luxembourg-based firm will give Halonix control of Luxlite Lamps Sarl, Luxembourg and Trifa Lamps Gmbh.

Luxlite and Trifa are engaged in distribution of halogen lamps and other automotive lighting products internationally.

Two years ago, Halonix had disclosed plans to buy the business and the assets of its distributors (Luxlite and Trifa) in Europe, including the acquisition of the brands Luxlamps and Trifa. But this was called off in May last year as the transaction was not completed as per the terms of the agreements.

At a meeting held last Friday, the company’s board gave its nod for 100 per cent stake acquisition of International Lamps Holding.

VCCircle had earlier hinted at the company’s next acquisition to revolve around the automotive lighting business.

Halonix, which is into automotive lamps as well as general lighting products, closed FY12 with net profit of Rs 5.7 crore on top line of Rs 453.4 crore. However, the firm was clocking losses over the past two quarters and posted a cumulative net loss of Rs 15.6 crore for Q4 FY12 and Q1 FY13. Its revenue for the first quarter ended June 30, 2012, also fell – both sequentially and over the year-ago period.

Bottom line also worsened due to higher losses in its general lighting business while profits in its auto lamps business declined.

Halonix would not be the first Indian lighting company to snap up such lighting assets abroad. Earlier, Warburg Pincus-backed Havells had acquired Sylvania in a multi-billion-dollar deal with assets and businesses spread across continents. Although Havells faced a tough operating environment initially, a successful restructuring at its overseas subsidiary has now seen the company turn around the business.

Private equity firm Actis, which struck a number of control deals in India, had acquired a majority stake in the company way back in 2006-07 with a final tranche of 20 per cent stake through an open offer, taking its holding to 66 per cent. The open offer was made at Rs 190 a share. Halonix is currently trading at just a quarter of the value.

The company’s scrip rose marginally and was trading at Rs 50 a share on the BSE, up 0.1 per cent in a flat Mumbai market in mid-day trades on Monday.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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