December 14, 2009

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Beringea Invests in LED Lighting and Smart Grid Specialist Relume Technologies

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – Beringea, Michigan’s largest venture capital firm, has invested in Oxford, Mich.-based Relume Technologies link opens in new window, a leading manufacturer of light-emitting diode (LED) products and smart grid control systems for outdoor lighting applications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The LED lighting sector is growing rapidly and will be an important source for new jobs in Michigan the coming years,” said Jeff Bocan, managing director at Beringea. “Relume’s products allow its customers to reliably fulfill the promise of LED and smart grid technology – generating high-quality bright light while significantly reducing energy consumption and massively reducing maintenance expenses. It is a classic example of doing well by doing good.”

Beringea’s investment was made through its InvestMichigan! link opens in new window Growth Capital Fund – a $150 million growth initiative focused on retaining and attracting growth companies to the State of Michigan – and will enable Relume to ramp up production and marketing of its LED streetlight technology, creating at least an estimated 150 jobs over the next 3-4 years.

The outdoor lighting market is quite large with an estimated 131 million street and area light fixtures installed in the United States. Most LED outdoor lights use 25-75 percent of the electricity of conventional streetlights and last 2-3 times longer, implying substantial savings for municipalities in reduced energy and maintenance costs for the expensive-to-replace streetlight fixtures.

“In addition to the desire to reduce carbon consumption, the growing demand for LED streetlight technology has been fueled in large part by the availability of federal stimulus funds for energy efficiency projects implemented by municipalities,” added Bocan. “Relume is poised for rapid growth as cities upgrade their conventional streetlights with LED streetlights to take advantage of available stimulus dollars.”

A recent switch to Relume’s LED lighting products in the city of Ann Arbor, Mich. resulted in a 65 percent reduction in energy consumption and a combined energy and maintenance savings of $130,000 annually. The company also has implemented LED conversion projects in Battle Creek link opens in new window, Benton Harbor, and Pontiac, and has a number of similar projects underway in cities across North America.

“Relume is on the leading edge of the rapidly emerging solid state lighting market,” said Michael McClear, Relume’s CEO. “Beringea’s investment in Relume is a significant endorsement of our business model and it will allow a Michigan-based company like ours to accelerate our leadership role in the LED outdoor lighting market.”

About Beringea

Beringea offers advice, guidance and capital to support growing businesses. Headquartered in Farmington Hills, Mich., the Firm also has offices in London and more than 70 portfolio companies in the U.S. and U.K. Beringea has more than 20 years of investing experience in a range of sectors, including health care and life sciences, clean technology, advanced manufacturing, media, Internet technologies and specialized consumer products. Beringea is the manager of funds, including the InvestMichigan! Growth Capital Fund, InvestCare Partners, Global Rights Fund II and the ProVen family of venture capital trusts. For more information, visit www.beringea.com.

About Relume Technologies

Relume Technologies is a leading manufacturer of highly efficient, environmentally friendly and cost effective LED lighting products and control systems utilizing patented thermal management and lighting controls technology. Relume products are used in street and area lighting, commercial signage, outdoor advertising, transportation and U.S. military applications. For more information, visit www.relume.com link opens in new window.