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Ideal acquires Cree Lighting

Purchase establishes Ideal as a global leader in commercial lighting and wireless lighting controls


Ideal Industries Inc., has acquired Cree Lighting, which includes the LED lighting fixtures, lamps and intelligent lighting control solutions business for commercial, industrial and consumer applications of Cree, Inc. IDEAL also acquires the rights to use and operate under the Cree Lighting brand. 

Cree Lighting will become a separate operating division of Ideal and will continue to be led by current management. The transaction is expected to close within the second quarter of 2019.

“We’re acquiring a very special organization poised for sustained success, and we look forward to assisting Cree Lighting in realizing its full potential,” says Ideal Chairman and CEO Jim James.

Ideal is a family-owned, 103-year-old professionally managed company with deep ties to the electrical industry. Ideal has a long history of successful innovation and acquisitions and operates from a long-term, generational perspective. Cree Lighting will become Ideal’s 20th branded operating unit.

Craig Atwater, senior vice president and general manager of Cree Lighting, and the Cree Lighting team will join Ideal and the business will continue to operate out of Durham, N.C, Racine, Wis. and other global locations. Over the past two years, Atwater and his team have led the organization’s return to operational and innovative excellence.

“This is a great opportunity for all of us at Cree Lighting, our channel partners and customers,” adds Atwater. “The Ideal family’s commitment to sustainable long-term growth is evident throughout the company’s history. In so many ways, becoming part of the Ideal family returns Cree Lighting to its earliest foundations and values.”

The transaction adds a widely recognized global brand with a reputation for innovation and a strong product line to Ideal’s portfolio. Cree Lighting also provides the company with a high-performance lighting agency network and sales team, significant manufacturing capability in Racine, Wis., a strong management team and organization.



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