HomeConnectivitySignify completes acquisition of UK smart street-lighting pioneer Telensa

Signify completes acquisition of UK smart street-lighting pioneer Telensa

Lighting firm Signify has completed its acquisition of UK-based Telensa, a pioneer in the smart street-lighting market, with a strong customer base among local councils and utility organisations, notably in the UK. The deal was originally announced last July; the transaction fee has not been disclosed. Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, already has a major stake in the smart lighting market, and has gained new technology and customers with the purchase.

Signify has acquired Telensa from Cambridge-based technology design house Plextek Group, which established Telensa in 2002, originally to develop its own proprietary ultra-narrowband (UNB) low-power wide-area (LPWA) wireless telemetry technology, and set it as a standalone business unit, along with a series of subsidiary spin-offs, in 2015, with investment in the firm from ETF Partners. 

Telensa owns the PLANet platform, which meters, manages and controls streetlights – “a process now labelled [as] smart street lighting”, said its former owner, on finalising the sale. The PLANet system manages “more than two million connected streetlights in 400 cities globally, based on nearly 100 networks,” said Plextek. It claims a key role in modernising the UK’s street lighting infrastructure, in particular, with 29 percent now classified as ‘smart’. 

Telensa reckons public authorities can save 28 percent less electricity with smart street lighting, compared to their average expenditure in 2010. Plextek said: “The Telensa system is typically procured by local councils and utility organisations attracted by its green credentials, creating a return on investment in just three years based on savings from lower electricity consumption and reduced maintenance costs.”

Colin Smithers, chairman of Plextek, said: “We are delighted to see Telensa leave the nest and find its new home with Signify. Completing its journey with us marks the start of a new adventure with Signify and the next stage in global scale-up. It has also been a delight working with Patrick Sheehan’s group at ETF Partners who have always been helpful and constructive during the inevitable ups and the downs of growing a tech company.”

Its sales for the year to March 2021 were £11 million; outside of the UK, the company has projects in the US, Brazil, Hong Kong, UAE, Australia and New Zealand. Announcing the deal in July, Signify said it will reach a broader group of customers with Telensa “by making smart city infrastructure affordable to cities utilising the unlicensed radio space”. Telensa will continue to sell its systems under its own brand name.

Harsh Chitale, division leader for digital solutions at Signify, said in July: “With its talented team and proven track record, we are adding a well-established technology and competitive offering to fuel the uptake of solutions for smart cities around the world.”

Brent Hudson, chief executive at Telensa, said: “Our deep expertise in wireless monitoring and control systems for smart cities is well recognised and we are delighted on behalf of our customers, employees and our suppliers that it has led to the announcement today. We very much look forward to embarking on a new journey within Signify and exploring our shared values and vision in the IoT smart city space.”

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