* Sells plant to Hong Kong’s Super Trend Lighting
* Says plant has 2,000 employees
* No financial details disclosed
* Sale is part of restructuring to focus more on LED
* Osram says still sees China as key market of the future (Adds CEO comment, further details)
FRANKFURT, March 7 (Reuters) - Osram, the lighting group of Germany’s Siemens, has agreed to sell a factory in China as part of a move to cut costs and shift investment to light-emitting diode (LED) technology.
Osram is slashing jobs and selling factories, having come under pressure to invest in LED technology to keep up with rivals. With the sale of the Shaoxing plant, it passes the halfway point in its efforts to cut headcount by 8,000.
It said on Thursday it was selling the plant, which makes mostly traditional types of lamps, to Hong Kong-based Super Trend Lighting (Group) Ltd. The two companies agreed not to disclose financial details.
“Our focus is on profitable growth and we plan to further increase the share of LED-based revenue of our overall business,” Osram Chief Executive Wolfgang Dehen said in a statement. Most recently, LED accounted for more than 25 percent of Osram’s revenue.
Osram aims to save about 1 billion euros by 2015 through restructuring but is also investing more than 100 million euros in a new LED plant in the Chinese province of Jiangsu.
It said following the sale of the Shaoxing plant, which it expects to close in the European spring, it still sees Asia and China in particular as the key market of the future, especially with regards to LED.
LED technology is becoming increasingly popular as a source of general lighting in shops and restaurants, for outdoor displays, and for headlights in cars.
Consultancy McKinsey has estimated that the LED market will grow more than sevenfold to almost 65 billion euros by 2020, accounting for the bulk of global demand for lighting.
Osram generates annual sales of 5.4 billion euros and has about 39,000 employees worldwide. Its lamps are used to light up Disneyland Paris, the Hippodrom beer tent at Munich’s Oktoberfest and the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, which will host the opening match of the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament.
$1 = 0.7692 euros Reporting by Maria Sheahan and Mark Potter