In one of the biggest acquisitions ever in the lighting industry, Vari-Lite International, Inc. has sold the assets of its VARI*LITE* products manufacturing and sales division to Genlyte Thomas Group LLC (GTG), the manufacturer of lighting fixtures and controls for commercial, industrial, and residential markets.

The sale included the VARI*LITE family of products as well as all sales, manufacturing, and engineering operations associated with this division. GTG also acquired the VARI*LITE trademark and all patents associated with VARI*LITE products. The purchase price, which will be finalized within 30 days, is estimated to be between $10.5 million - $11.5 million, which will result in a loss of approximately $4.0 million - $5.0 million.

"Operating as a manufacturer and a rental company was confusing to the industry, and it limited the growth prospects of both our VARI*LITE manufacturing and sales division and VLPS Lighting Services, our rental division," explains Rusty Brutsché, Vari-Lite chairman and CEO. "In order for both divisions to achieve their maximum potential, there had to be a clear separation of the two. This transaction allows VLPS Lighting Services to operate independently and to focus on its core competency, lighting rental and production services."

"We saw this as an opportunity to add an established industry leader to the Genlyte Thomas Group," says Larry Powers, CEO of Genlyte Thomas Group. "Vari-Lite is the pioneer of the automated lighting industry. By capitalizing on our manufacturing strengths, we believe we can effectively integrate the VARI*LITE brand into our respected family of lighting businesses."

Vari-Lite has always been committed to raising the bar for expectations of automated lighting products. In the past year, Vari-Lite has produced the award-winning VL1000 ERS luminaire, which has quickly become a workhorse fixture in the industry. And last month, the Company introduced its line of 1,200W luminaires, the Series 3000 family of products, which received rave reviews among industry decision-makers at both the PLASA and LDI trade shows.

"The acquisition of Vari-Lite strengthens our position in the Entertainment Lighting market," says Steven Carson, vice president and general manager of Genlyte Controls Division. "And it is consistent with our strategy to develop the most advanced and sophisticated tools for the lighting industry and to provide lighting professionals with innovative and leading-edge lighting products."

Vari-Lite International, Inc. will ultimately change its name to VLPS Lighting Services International, Inc. to further reflect the company's continued commitment to provide lighting systems and services to the entertainment industry.

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