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Cree Acquires LED-Making Competitor

Cree's LED streetlights on Franklin St. in Chapel Hill

Durham-based LED light maker Cree is acquiring one of its competitors. The company announced it's buying Wisconsin-based Ruud Lighting for around $525 million. Commercial industries have been moving towards L-E-D lighting because it uses less energy and is less costly to maintain. Cree spokeswoman Michelle Murray says Ruud's experience selling outdoor lighting will complement Cree's lineup of indoor lighting fixtures.

Michelle Murray: "What we've found is that in a lot of cases, we're going in to sell lighting somewhere and it turns out they also want the parking lot done. Or they're going in to sell outdoor lighting and it's an account where they could also benefit from indoor lighting. "
Much of Ruud's LED lighting was actually made from Cree components. They've been making lights for nearly 30 years and have recently transitioned to primarily LED's. The acquisition means Ruud will become a Cree subsidiary. It will remain in Racine, Wisconsin. Murray says they anticipate growth in Durham because the purchase means Cree will be able to accelerate the adoption of LED lighting. Cree employs more than 2,000 people in Durham.

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