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Universal Douglas Closes Doors

Almost two years to the day that Panasonic Corporation sold Universal Lighting Technologies and Douglas Lighting Controls to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Atar Capital comes news that the recently rebranded Universal Douglas business is expected to stop all operation in July.

According to a letter sent to its customers and reprinted on The Edison Report, the company is “committed to filling as many outstanding customer orders as possible and maximizing recovery value on asset sales.” The customer notice added that a representative will be in contact regarding open orders, customer accounts payable owed, dedicated finished goods inventory on-hand, and assets for sale.

There was no mention of whether warranties for Universal Douglas products already sold would still be honored or what sort of support would be available to update systems already installed and for how long.

Both companies enjoyed a long history in the lighting industry. Nashville-based Universal Lighting Technologies, founded in 1947, most recently manufactured LED lighting solutions for the commercial market with solutions that ranged from LED upgrades and retrofits to connected lighting solutions and IoT digital services. British Columbia-based Douglas Lighting Controls, founded in 1962, developed advanced control systems and end-to-end energy-efficient digital lighting control solutions for commercial buildings, campuses, and sports complexes.

At the time of Atar Capital’s acquisition of both companies, Robert Lezec, Senior Managing Director at Atar, had noted, “The commercial lighting industry is in the midst of a significant transformation as cost-efficient LED light sources are now being supplemented by increasingly sophisticated controls, sensors and networking functionalities. Smart IoT lighting not only helps to drive incremental cost savings, but it also provides a platform for many valuable features within commercial spaces, including data collection and tracking, among others. We see numerous opportunities for these companies to capitalize on this industry-wide trend and we are excited once again to be at the heart of where technology meets sustainability.”

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