But now it looks like it’s exiting its core business – lighting – completely.
The lighting company will be spun off and will be floated on the stock exchange, probably in 2016. Its lighting business generates revenues of around $2 billion and has 37,000 staff.
Philips originally started in the late 19th century in its core business – making electric lamps. It diversified greatly during the 20th century at one time even operating its own aircraft business. It also was for a while a player in the audio-visual business and in PCs.
A few years back it spun off its semiconductor business which is now trading as NXP and which is expected to merge with Freescale soon.
Lumileds, the name of the automotive and LED lighting business, will eventually be completely sold off, according to a report in Electronics Weekly.