GREENWICH, CT, October 26, 2007 - Littlejohn & Co., a private investment firm that applies an operational approach to building middle-market companies, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell Universal Lighting Technologies, Inc., a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-efficiency lighting ballasts and control systems, to Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd. ("MEW"). (TSE: 6991).
Littlejohn acquired Universal Lighting in a corporate carve out transaction from MagneTek, Inc. in 2001. Since establishing Universal Lighting as a stand-alone company, Littlejohn has worked with senior management at Universal Lighting to implement a number of strategic initiatives that have resulted in the enhancement of the Company's share within its distribution channel, the acceleration of new product developments such as digital dimming products and energy management systems, and the growth of its core ballast business on a global basis.
"The investment in Universal Lighting was complex due to the carve-out nature of the purchase and a substantial transition in ballast technology from magnetic to analog electronic to digital electronic. We are pleased to have successfully transformed this technology-driven business into a much stronger global competitor," said Angus C. Littlejohn, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Littlejohn. "The Company has a strong management team that we believe will be able to continue to build on the growth initiatives put in place, and with the resources of MEW, Universal Lighting is poised for continued expansion."
Littlejohn has a long history of investing in corporate carve outs and has successfully executed a number of these transactions. Littlejohn has experience buying businesses from some of the world's leading corporations including General Dynamics, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, The General Electric Company, ITT Corporation and MagneTek, Inc.
Brian E. Ramsay, Managing Director of Littlejohn, said, "Universal Lighting's products are recognized for their quality and value, and the Company is a strong fit for MEW. We are pleased that MEW recognizes the inherent strength of the business and are confident the new owner will provide deep technical skills and a broad global presence to further drive the business."
For six decades, Universal Lighting has been bringing power and precision to the world's most innovative lighting. Headquartered in Nashville, TN, with operations and distribution worldwide, Universal Lighting generates annual revenues of approximately $300 million through the marketing and sale of products under the Universal®, Triad® and Signa® brand names. Universal Lighting is focused on the design, manufacture and distribution of the industry's finest lighting ballasts and control systems.
Patrick A. Sullivan, Chairman and CEO of Universal Lighting, said, "The acquisition of Universal Lighting by MEW illustrates the momentum that the Company has achieved during Littlejohn's ownership. We had a tremendous partnership with the Littlejohn team, who provided outstanding guidance as we grew. We are excited to be part of MEW and now look forward to our next phase of growth."
About Littlejohn & Co., LLC
Littlejohn & Co., LLC is a control-oriented private equity firm seeking middle-market investment opportunities that are undergoing a fundamental change in capital structure, strategy, or operations and that can benefit from its hands-on approach. The firm is based in Greenwich, Connecticut. For more information, visit www.littlejohnllc.com, or Littlejohn can be reached at 203-552-3500.