Bright welcome for Philips Lighting share sale


Investors happily switched into Philips’s lighting division shares at their Amsterdam debut Friday, over a century after the Dutch electronics giant sold its first light bulb.
Strong demand ensured that shares in the highly-anticipated listing of a quarter of the lighting unit’s equity rose well above their initial flotation price of 20 euros ($22.30), the stock exchange said.
“The opening price per share was 21 euros on the Euronext Amsterdam,” Euronext spokeswoman Alice Jentink told AFP.
Philips Lighting’s share price then went on to climb to a high of 21.77 euros in early trade.
Philips late on Thursday announced it would list its lighting arm’s shares at 20 euros each, expecting to rake in 750 million euros in the historic IPO, after failing to find an outright buyer over the last 18 months.
Philips announced in September 2014 that it was selling off its core lighting business — a mainstay of its income for more than a century — to focus more on medical equipment.
It said it was making the move into medical technology where margins are strong and less vulnerable to competition from emerging markets.
Earlier this month Philips , a household name around the world for its home appliances, however acknowledged its lighting arm would still carry some up to 4.92 billion euros in debt.
Philips sold its first light bulb a few years after it was founded in 1891, but for the past dozen years has increasingly shifted its focus to medical equipment, which now accounts for more than 40 percent of sales.
But its lighting business, which produces LED lights, halogen and fluorescent lamps and other electronic components, remains a major money-spinner, selling products in around 180 countries.

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