Lighting Science Group moves HQ to Philadelphia region

One reason I read announcements about who’s been hired or promoted is that often they contain more news than the company intended.

Yesterday, Lighting Science Group Corp. said it hired an investment-banking executive named Katy Reynolds as its senior vice president of strategy and finance.

The press release said she will be based at the company’s Westampton offices, which are, in fact, its corporate headquarters.

Welcome, Katy Reynolds, but the real news is that the Philadelphia area is now home to a publicly traded “cleantech” company.

Lighting Science recently moved its headquarters from Dallas to Burlington County, where 35 of its 250 employees work. You probably have surmised that it’s in the lighting business. Specifically, it applies light-emitting diode technology to replace incandescent lights in all sorts of places.

The reason it’s now here is that Lighting Science bought a small tech company based in South Jersey called Lamina Lighting Inc. in July for $4.5 million in cash.

Founded in 2001, Lamina was a spinoff from Sarnoff Corp., the corporate R&D operation that was once known as RCA Laboratories.

Backed by about $16 million in venture capital, Lamina developed its high-power LED lighting technology. That’s right: Built with $16 million and sold for $4.5 million. (Lighting Science could pay the sellers an additional $10.5 million depending on the level of 2009 sales of products developed by Lamina.)

Like so many companies in the cleantech sector, Lighting Science is big on potential rather than profits. The company has not released its 2008 financial results. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Lighting Science lost $11.7 million, or 41 cents per share, on revenues of $5.6 million.

That makes Lighting Science a tiny player in the fast-growing LED market dominated by Philips Electronics, Cree and General Electric.

Lighting Science, which trades on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol LSCG, is controlled by a New York private-equity firm, called Pegasus Capital Advisors. Yesterday, its shares closed unchanged at 75 cents.