Acuity Brands, Atlanta, recently announced plans to accelerate its ongoing plans to streamline operations in its lighting group. The plans include: closing two manufacturing facilities and downsizing a third facility and a reduction of about 800 personnel, comprising both manufacturing and salaried positions in mostly non-customer serving areas of the business.

As a result of these cuts, the company expects to record a special cash charge of approximately $17 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2009. The planned consolidation of the manufacturing operations is scheduled to be finished by the fiscal fourth quarter of 2009. Upon completion, Acuity Brands Lighting expects to realize annualized benefits of more than $36 million.