Electronics giant inks $235m deal to buy Saudi firm stake

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Electronics giant Royal Philips on Monday announced that it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Saudi Arabia-based General Lighting Company (GLC) for $235 million.

The company said in a statement that it has bought the stake from a consortium of shareholders that include Alliance Holding Ltd, the Hejailan Group, and The Carlyle Group.

The new joint venture will be a leading lighting player in Saudi Arabia, and will strengthen Philips' footprint in the region, the statement said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Philips will acquire 51 percent of GLC for a total amount of $235 million.

Philips said its current lighting activities in the Gulf kingdom will be combined with GLC forming a new joint venture that will be named Philips Lighting Saudi Arabia.

Alliance, a company managed by Abdullah Al-Hobayb, the founder and chairman of GLC, will be the JV partner with a 49 percent stake.

"By partnering with GLC, Philips will be able to grow its business in this important market, particularly in relation to LED lighting. We expect LED penetration in the KSA to achieve strong double-digit growth by 2018, driven by investments in public and private infrastructure," said Eric Rondolat, CEO of Philips Lighting.

The joint venture will employ approximately 1,300 people. Philips has been present in Saudi Arabia since 1935 and in 2012 announced a joint venture with Al Faisaliah Medical Systems to sell Philips Healthcare solutions and services in the country.

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