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Osram Licht AG
IndustrySemiconductor / Photonics
Founded1st of July, 1919 (Berlin[1])
HeadquartersMunich, Germany
Key people
Revenue€3,04 billion (Fiscal Year 2020[2])
Number of employees
Approximately 21,400 (November 2020[3])
Parentams AG (71 %)[4] (2020–present)
SubsidiariesOsram Opto Semiconductors
OSRAM Sylvania

Osram Licht AG (stylized as OSRAM) is a globally active German company headquartered in Munich, Germany.[5] The "Osram" name is derived from osmium and Wolfram (German for tungsten, also used in English), as both these elements were commonly used for lighting filaments at the time the company was founded. Osram positions itself as a high-tech photonics company that is increasingly focusing on sensor technology, visualization and treatment by light.[6] The operating company of Osram is Osram GmbH.

OSRAM was founded in 1919 by the merger of the lighting businesses of Auergesellschaft, Siemens & Halske and Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG). Osram was a wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens AG from 1978 to 2013. On 5 July 2013, OSRAM was spun off from Siemens, and the listing of its stock began on 8 July 2013 on Frankfurt Stock Exchange.[7] Osram's business with conventional light sources was spun off in 2016 under the name LEDVANCE and sold to a Chinese consortium.[8]

After a bidding war[9] with Bain Capital, Osram was taken over by the Austrian company ams AG in July 2020 and a majority of shares was acquired.[10][11][12]

On March 3 2021, ams AG announced that the Domination and Profit and Loss Transfer Agreement (“DPLTA”) between ams Offer GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of ams AG, the parent company of ams Group, and OSRAM Licht AG (“OSRAM”) became effective on that day. Operating as one company, and with over 110 years of combined history and more than 15,000 granted and applied patents, the ams Group is focused on creating optical solutions for the future. Headquartered in Premstätten (Austria) with a co-headquarter in Munich (Germany), the company serves customers in the consumer, automotive, healthcare and industrial technology sectors.[13]


Osram lamp of 1910, high candle-power type
bilingual bond of the Osram company, issued 2 December 1925[14]
OSRAM in Markham, Ontario

In 1906 the Osram incandescent lamp was developed by Carl Auer von Welsbach. The brand name of OSRAM was "born" in 1906 and registered by the Deutsche Gasglühlicht-Anstalt (also known as Auer-Gesellschaft).[15] The British General Electric Company imported Osram filaments for their own production of light bulbs. In 1919 Auergesellschaft, Siemens & Halske and Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG) combined their electric-lamp production with the formation of the company Osram.[16]

Following the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, co-founder William Meinhardt and the other Jewish members of the managing board were forced to step down. During the rule of his successor Hermann Schlüpmann organisations close to the Nazi Party such as DAF became increasingly influential among the company's workforce.[17]:112–116 In March 1933 Osram funded 40,000 Reichsmark for a secret campaign fund of German industrialist in support the Nazi Party.[18]

During World War II Osram used forced labourers in its plants in Berlin.[19] Due to the continuous bombing of Berlin during the war, the production was partially relocated to East German cities from 1942 onward. The production of molybdenum and tungsten products, which were classified as important for the war effort, was outsourced to the city of Plauen. Following arrangements between Osram officials and members of the SS, two subcamps of Flossenbürg concentration camp were installed next to the factory site to secure the company's supply with slave labourers.[20]:393 In a subcamp in Leitzmeritz, prisoners were used to build underground facilities as part of the secret project Richard II to secure the production of molybdenum and tungsten during air raids.[21]:362 At least 4,500 prisoners died in the camp, while Osram never moved into the space due to the course of war.[22][23]

In 1993 OSRAM Sylvania, a North American division, was established with the acquisition of GTE's Sylvania lighting division. Osram Sylvania Inc. manufactures and markets a wide range of lighting products for homes, business, and vehicles and holds the largest share of the North American lighting market.[24] In fiscal year 2006, the company achieved sales of about 2 billion euros, which comprised 43% of total Osram sales.[25] In 2019, Osram sold Sylvania to Wesco International, Inc.[26]

In 1998 Osram acquired the lamp business of ECE Industries India Ltd at a cost of $9.55 million. In 2009 Osram acquired TRAXON Technologies. In 2011 Osram acquired Siteco.

On 8 July 2013 Siemens spun Osram off, and Osram listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

On March 3, 2021, the combination of ams and Osram was completed. The combined company focuse on optical systems and serves the entire value chain including sensing, visualization and illumination, with products ranging from emitters to sensors and software.[27]


Osram is a multinational corporation with headquarters in Munich and it employs around 34,000 people throughout the world. Osram has operations in over 120 countries.

In fiscal year 2019, Osram's business model was operationally implemented in three business units: Opto Semiconductors, Automotive and Digital.[28]

Opto Semiconductors[edit]

Osram os.png

The Opto Semiconductors Business Unit provides opto semiconductors, which are crucial elements in lighting, visualization, and sensor technology. Osram Opto Semiconductors offers a wide range of LEDs in the low-power, mid-power, high-power, and ultra-high-power classes that are used in general lighting, automotive, consumer, and industrial applications as well as infrared, laser and optical sensors. The main market for these components are the automotive sector, smartphones, wearables, general lighting, lighting for plants, industrial lighting, and projection.[29]


The Automotive Business Unit develops and produces lamps, light modules, and sensors, which it sells to original equipment manufacturers and their suppliers in the automotive industry and to the spare parts market (after-market).

Up to the beginning of the fiscal year 2019, the automotive and other areas of business comprised the Specialty Lighting Business Unit. As part of a reorganization and the subsequent renaming of the business unit as AM, these other areas of business have been incorporated into the Digital Business Unit.


The Digital Business Unit was established at the start of the fiscal year 2019. It handles all of Osram's business activities that benefit the most from the growing use of digital technologies.

The former Lighting Solutions Business Unit was dissolved at the start of the fiscal year 2019. Traxon's light solutions business was incorporated into the new Digital Business Unit. The European luminairies business (Siteco) and the North American luminaire service business are reported as a discontinued operation.[30]

In literature[edit]

  • German author and Nobel prize winner Günter Grass describes the birth of Oscar Matzerath, the hero of The Tin Drum, as "I first saw the light of this world in the form of two sixty-watt bulbs. As a result, the biblical text »Let there be light and there was light« still strikes me today as the perfect slogan for Osram light bulbs."

In popular culture[edit]

  • German football manager Jupp Heynckes was nicknamed "Osram" because his face would sometimes redden under the stress of matches.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "100 Jahre OSRAM : Licht hat einen Namen" (PDF). Osram.de. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Earnings Release Q4/20" (PDF). osram-group.com. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  3. ^ "Earnings Release Q4/20" (PDF). osram-group.com. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  4. ^ "ams and OSRAM conclude Domination and Profit and Loss Transfer Agreement". ams.com. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  5. ^ "OSRAM Licht AG imprint". OSRAM. 18 February 2021.
  6. ^ "#TheNewOSRAM - the high-tech photonics company". OSRAM. 25 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Osram shares begin trading on the Frankfurt and Munich Stock Exchanges". LEDs Magazine. 8 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Ad hoc: Osram finds best owner for lamps business". OSRAM. 25 November 2020.
  9. ^ "AMS clear to make takeover bid for Osram in potential bidding war". Reuters. 21 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Osram's Managing Board invites ams to talks about the future". OSRAM. 6 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Osram supports public takeover offer from Bain Capital and The Carlyle Group". OSRAM. 4 July 2019.
  12. ^ "ams announces successful closing of the OSRAM acquisition, aims to create a global leader in sensor solutions and photonics". Ams AG. 9 July 2020.
  13. ^ "ams & OSRAM news". Ams AG. 3 March 2021.
  14. ^ "Suppes 94/95 Historische Wertpapiere". Suppes-Katalog Für Historische Aktien und Anleihen Historische Wertpapiere ; Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz. WWA Bernd Suppes: 264. 1994. ISSN 0936-9406.
  15. ^ "Anniversary of the trademark on 17 April 2006". OSRAM. 3 April 2006. Archived from the original on 7 October 2010.
  16. ^ "Shining bright – The interlinked history of Siemens and OSRAM". Siemens Historical Institute. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  17. ^ Tschirbs, Rudolf (2015). Das Phantom der Volksgemeinschaft : ein kritischer Literatur- und Quellenbericht (PDF). Düsseldorf: Hans Böckler Stiftung. ISBN 978-3-86593-201-3. OCLC 908680843.
  18. ^ "Entries in the Account "National Trusteeship" Found in the Files of the Delbrueck, Schickter Co. Bank". NUERNBERG MILITARY TRIBUNAL Volume VII Page 567. Mazal Library. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  19. ^ Jacobeit, Sigrid (1987), "OSRAM-Arbeiterinnen. Deutsche und ausländische Frauen in der Kriegsproduktion für den Berliner Glühlampen-Konzern 1939 bis 1945.", Jahrbuch für Geschichte (in German), 35, pp. 369-388
  20. ^ Katherine Lukat (2020), Zwangsarbeit in Plauen im Vogtland: Lebens- und Arbeitsbedingungen ausländischer Zivilarbeiter, Kriegsgefangener und KZ-Häftlinge im Zweiten Weltkrieg (in German), Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ISBN 9783412517427, retrieved 9 May 2020
  21. ^ Marc Buggeln, Michael Wildt, Arbeit im Nationalsozialismus (in German), München: Walter de Gruyter, p. 441, ISBN 978-3-486-85884-6, retrieved 9 May 2020
  22. ^ Kárný, Miroslav (1993). ">>Vernichtung durch Arbeit<< in Leitmeritz. Dei SS-Führungsstäbe in der deutschen Kriegswirtschaft" [Extermination through labor in Leitmeritz. The SS leadership in the German war economy.]. 1999: Zeitschrift für Sozialgeschichte des 20. Und 21. Jahrhunderts (4): 41–42. ISSN 0930-9977.
  23. ^ Pendas, Devin O.; Roseman, Mark; Wetzell, Richard F. (2017). Beyond the Racial State. Cambridge University Press. p. 491. ISBN 978-1-107-16545-8.
  24. ^ Steiner, Christopher (7 June 2007). "Bright Lights, Big Legacy?". Forbes. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2007.
  25. ^ "Facts & Figures". OSRAM. Archived from the original on 16 May 2007.
  26. ^ http://wesco.investorroom.com/2019-01-16-WESCO-International-Inc-Acquires-OSRAMs-Sylvania-Lighting-Solutions#:~:text=(NYSE%3A%20WCC)%2C%20a,acquire%20certain%20assets%20of%20Sylvania
  27. ^ "ams Domination and Profit and Loss Transfer Agreement with OSRAM in force". Ams AG. 3 March 2021.
  28. ^ https://www.osram-group.com/~/media/Files/O/Osram/Investor%20Relations/Annual%20Report/2019/2019_en_osram_annual_report.pdf
  29. ^ https://www.osram-group.com/~/media/Files/O/Osram/Investor%20Relations/Annual%20Report/2019/2019_en_osram_annual_report.pdf
  30. ^ https://www.osram-group.com/~/media/Files/O/Osram/Investor%20Relations/Annual%20Report/2019/2019_en_osram_annual_report.pdf
  31. ^ ""Osram" soll Schalke wieder strahlen lassen". Spiegel Online (in German). 24 June 2003. Retrieved 29 April 2009.

External links[edit]