Acuity will spin off ‘specialty products’ division

Acuity Brands, maker and marketer of lighting products under the names Lithonia and Peerless, has announced it will spin off its specialty products business into a separate publicly traded company.

Acuity has not yet named the new company. The spun-off business will include the company’s cleaning and maintenance products for consumer, commercial and industrial markets. The group had 2006 annual sales of nearly $600 million.

The spinoff will be accomplished through a tax-free distribution to Acuity shareholders in the fall, the company said.

Most recently, Acuity Brands acquired Edison, N.J.-based Mark Architectural Lighting, a high-end manufacturer of lighting products primarily for the Northeast market.

Acuity Brands had net sales of $2.4 billion last year.