SLI, Inc., Canton, Mass., moved to establish itself as an integrated lighting manufacturer with an agreement to buy Supreme Lighting Corp., Mullins, S.C. SLI plans to build its presence in U.S. niche lighting markets on Supreme Lighting's manufacturing and distribution infrastructure.

Supreme Lighting had sales of $60 million last year. SLI sees Supreme Lighting, the oldest and largest family-owned lampmaker in the U.S., as an opportunity to increase its domestic sales, particularly in niches not served by the big three lamp companies, GE Lighting, Nela Park, Ohio; Philips Lighting, Somerset, N.J.; and Osram Sylvania, Danvers, Mass.

Supreme Lighting has carved niches in the lamp market, particularly in long-life lamps and rough-service lamps, while also producing a broad range of general-purpose lighting products. Through a portfolio of lighting companies built up over the past three years, SLI already had interests in ballasts, specialty lamps, fixtures, long-life lamps and fiber optics.

SLI plans to integrate Supreme Lighting into its core SLI Lighting business rather than keeping it as a separate entity, though the Supreme Lighting name will probably be retained as a brand identity, primarily in the retail and do-it-yourself markets where the company's name is strongest, says John Ossenmacher, president of SLI Lighting. Bruce Siegal and Gary Siegal, president and vice president of Supreme Lighting, will manage the newly formed subsidiary for SLI.

The company will restructure its sales force of reps, and those chosen will represent the entire SLI package.