The Dutch conglomerate is looking to shed the 123-year-old lighting business, which is said to be worth some €2.5 billion ($2.6 billion), and is also planning to merge its healthcare and consumer segments.
"We welcome the decision by the [annual general meeting] to approve the separation of our lighting business from Royal Philips and I fully appreciate the historic significance of today’s meeting," CEO Frans van Houten said in prepared remarks. "Both our multi-billion-euro healthtech and lighting solutions businesses have the right fundamentals for profitable growth in their fields."
Philips said it expects the transition to a separate legal structure for the lighting operation will take "at least" until the end of this year. The company said it’s planning an initial public offering for the spinout in the 1st half of 2016.
"At the same time, alternatives will continue to be carefully reviewed," Philips said.
Those alternatives include a possible buyout by a private equity player, several of which are vying for Philips’ favors.
In March Philips sold an 80% stake in its Lumileds business for $2.8 billion. The company in April reported that its Q1 2015 operating profit in healthcare fell -84.4% to €17 million ($18 million) compared with the same period last year.