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March 14, 2005

LEDs: TridonicAtco of Zumtobel Group and Toyoda Gosei sign joint venture agreement, investing in technology of high-power LED for general lighting

Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd
Dornbirn, Austria; Aichi, Japan, March 14, 2005: On February 25, 2005, as part of their drive to access future-oriented, innovative technologies, TridonicAtco of the Austrian-based Zumtobel Group - one of the few global players in the lighting industry - and Toyoda Gosei - one of the Toyota Group Companies - have concluded a joint venture agreement, with the aim of advancing the development of high-power white LEDs. The resultant joint-venture company will be based at Jennersdorf in Austria and will be established in April 2005 followed by the opening of business in May and the start of production end of 2005. 

The relationship between the Zumtobel Group and Toyoda Gosei started in November 2001 when
Toyoda Gosei applied the phosphors developed by three companies, including TriodonicAtco’s subsidiary, Tridonic Optoelectronics, into Toyoda Gosei’s high luminosity white LEDs. Subsequently, in July 2004, Toyoda Gosei obtained a share of a patent concerning white LEDs held by these three companies and became a patent partner in order to initiate closer technical collaboration and speed up the development of higher luminosity white LEDs. Both companies then jointly applied for patents on the improved technology. 

“As the innovation leader in the lighting industry, we can see great potential in driving forward the ongoing improvement of LED technologies. We are delighted to have found a competent partner in Toyoda Gosei whose technological expertise and market presence make the perfect complement for our existing LED activities. Our common goal now is to grow the joint venture in the medium term into the world’s premier supplier of high-performance LEDs for integrated lighting solutions,” said Zumtobel Group CEO Andreas J. Ludwig, setting out the motives behind the new joint venture.

Meanwhile, Toyoda Gosei president Takashi Matsuura expressed hope for the new joint venture, “We are pleased to step forward to establish a base for technical development and production of high-power LED lighting for Central Europe. From my perspective, Europe maintains an enviable balance between advanced technologies and a traditional lifestyle. The major challenge is to ensure the success of our technical development and production activities in Europe. I have high expectations, not just hopes, for the successful future of the new company through the cooperation and support of the Zumtobel Group and Toyoda Gosei.” 

Strategic positioning
The portfolio of the new joint venture will comprise high-power LED packages and components for the market of general lighting. The white LEDs will be developed with a view to colour temperature, tolerance, homogeneous white light and colour rendering. The LEDs will be destined for worldwide use in innovative lighting solutions, but the company is also aiming to develop LED applications specifically for the European market, not least of which is for the automotive and communications industries. Targeted sales are proposed to reach in a mid-term perspective approximately 50 Mio Euro. For the same time, the number of employees is expected to total approximately 90 highly specialized people. 

As the joint venture is set up at the Technology Centre in Jennersdorf in the Austrian state of Burgenland, TridonicAtco’s existing facility there will be expanded. The project qualifies for subsidies from technology promotion schemes financed by the EU and the State of Burgenland.

50:50 joint venture 
The establishment fund of a joint venture is 2,600,000 Euros and the further capital investments will be made in the future. The joint venture agreement provides for equal 50 percent shares to be held by TridonicAtco GmbH & Co. KG, the lighting components and control gear division of the Zumtobel Group, and Toyoda Gosei of Aichi, Japan. There are two managing directors appointed by each company.

Toyoda Gosei, a company of the Toyota Group, manufactures parts for the automotive industry and optoelectronic products. In this sector, Toyoda Gosei is the innovation leader for blue LEDs - the technology on which the manufacture of white LEDs is based. TridonicAtco already ranks among the European market leaders in the use of white LEDs in the advertising and outline lighting segments. As early as 2001, the lighting components manufacturer assigned its LED activities to a separate subsidiary, Tridonic Optoelectronics GmbH based in Jennersdorf. In December 2004, this subsidiary and its 60 staffs won the Burgenland Innovation Award.

LEDs - technology of the future 
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are semiconductor-based point light sources offering extremely high luminance and exceptional durability. They are based on the principle of electroluminescence whereby light is directly generated by an electric current. As a result of ongoing improvements in their efficiency, white LEDs are set to play a more important role in the future as light sources. Compared to conventional lamps, LEDs offer substantial advantages in terms of power consumption and maintenance costs. 

Signing the joint venture agreement: from left: Roland Michal (Chief Operations Officer, TridonicAtco), Stefan Tasch (General Manager, Tridonic Optoelectronics), Andreas J. Ludwig (Chief Executive Officer Zumtobel Group), Yuzo Saito (Executive Vice Presidents, Toyoda Gosei), Tokio Horigome (Chairman of the Board, Toyoda Gosei), Koichi Ota (Director, Toyoda Gosei), Takashi Matsuura (President, Toyoda Gosei)

For further information please contact: 
Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.
Public Relation Group
General Administration Dept.
Jun Eguchi
T. +81-52-400-1055

Zumtobel Group 
Corporate Communications
Astrid Kühn
T. 0043-(0) 5572-509 1570
M. 0043-(0) 664 825 0151

Tridonic Optoelectronics
Stefan Tasch
T. 0043 (0) 3329-9010 840
M. 0043 (0) 664 233 7182