Leyard Optoelectronic Co. Ltd. of Beijing, China, is buying LCD sign display maker Planar Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: PLNR) for $156.8 million, to expand into the U.S. market.

Beaverton, Oregon-based Planar, founded in 1983, makes LCD signs for retailers, government agencies and energy firms. Some of Planar‘s previous clients include Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI), Arizona State University and the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers.

The purchase price values Planar at $6.58 per share. Planar shares closed at $4.65 on Aug. 12.

“We intend to strongly support the continued growth of the Planar Business with standalone management under the broader Leyard umbrella,” says Leyard chairman Victor Li. “This acquisition demonstrates Leyard’s ongoing commitment to expanding its global presence.”

Another recent deal in the sign lighting space includes New York private equity firm Corinthian Capital's acquisition of Best Lighting Products LLC. The target makes lighting for exit signs.

Roth Capital Partners and Shearman & Sterling LLP are advising Leyard.  Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Perkins Coie LLP are advising Planar.

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