Have the chaps at profitable and well-managed electronics group ARB Holdings gone mad? I had to re-read a cautionary announcement several times to confirm that ARB, which controls the highly profitable Eurolux lighting business, is in advanced negotiations to acquire Radiant Lighting from the beleaguered South Ocean Holdings (SOH). A friend in the lighting industry called the deal a few weeks back, but I suspected he had got his wires crossed. ARB is a smart operator that has been prudent with its capital allocation since listing more than 10 years ago. Surely there must be better opportunities to pursue than Radiant, which has managed shocking performances over the past decade and appears to be the very antithesis of ARB’s Eurolux? Like Eurolux, Radiant imports and distributes light fittings, lamps and electrical accessories to the housing, infrastructure, building and construction sectors. It’s a simple enough business, but the scorecard will show that Eurolux’s profit performance...

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