When you look at an LED light, does national security jump to mind? If your answer is to scoff, would it change if the LEDs were in TV, mobile device and computer displays, used as a flash for smartphone cameras, used in general lighting markets, and the LEDs were in one of every three cars made in the world?
The LEDs mentioned above are made by Lumileds, a company that pulled in about $2 billion last year and is a part of Philips. By 2010, Philips Lumileds had shipped one billion Luxeon LEDs. In March 2015, Philips announced its intention to sell 80% of the Lumileds division based in California to GO Scale Capital, a group which included Chinese firms; yet on Friday, the majority interest sale hit a major snag. That’s when the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) slammed on the brakes, blocking the $2.8 billion sale, even as “Philips said it was not permitted to disclose the nature of the concerns raised by the U.S. committee, which vets deals for any national security issues.”