Lighting Science Group to Buy LED Maker Lamina

The LED lighting market keeps consolidating as bigger companies buy out the smaller startups. Lighting Science Group (LSG), an LED manufacturer, said today it’s acquired all of the assets of LED developer Lamina Lighting for $4.5 million in cash; the deal is structured to include “earn-out” payments to Lamina of up to $10.5 million depending on sales of Lamina products.

Lamina previously raised at least $16 million from investors Morgenthaler Partners, Easton Capital, Redshift Ventures, Granite Global Ventures, CID Equity Partners and Mellon Family Investments. So given the assets of the company were sold for an initial $4.5 million in cash, doesn’t look to be such a great deal for the startup. LSG isn’t exactly in the catbird seat either — along with the Lamina acquisition, the company announced that it has entered into an agreement with Bank of Montreal for a $20 million line of credit, which will help finance the Lamina purchase.

We’ve seen consolidation like this before, and this deal is a small drop in a very big bucket. LED poster child Cree purchased LED Lighting Fixtures for nearly $100 million earlier this year. Philips, one of the largest lighting companies in the world, has been on an acquisition tear, too. The company acquired LED maker Lumileds for around $950 million, paid $72.8 million for solid-state lighting module manufacturer TIR Systems, spent $794 million on LED maker Color Kinetics, and finally bought Genlyte for $2.7 billion at the end of year.

Perhaps the New York Times was right when it wrote yesterday that “this bulb’s time has come.”