General Electric
Ge Hero Vintage 0 0 0 1

GE Sells Lighting Business to Savant Systems As Part of Industrial Refocus

May 27, 2020
The company founded by Thomas Edison will no longer sell light bulbs.

General Electric announced today it would sell its 129-year-old lighting division to Savant Systems, Inc., a Boston-based firm that specializes in smart home lighting. According to GE CEO Larry Culp, Jr., the sale advances GE’s transition into a “more focused industrial company.”

Savant Systems makes home automation products, including systems for automatically or remotely adjusting home lighting, heating, air conditioning, and audio systems. The company will continue to use the GE brand for products sold under the lighting business, and the more than 700 GE Lighting employees will transfer to Savant. The headquarters for the business will remain in Cleveland, where it was founded almost 130 years ago.

While neither company released the price of the exchange, the Wall Street Journal reported that “a person familiar with the matter” put the sale at $250 million.

Culp, in a statement, said the split with GE Lighting was part of his long-term strategy of focusing GE’s business on industrial use cases. “GE Lighting will continue its legacy of innovation, while we at GE will continue to advance the infrastructure technologies that are core to our company,” he said. Sale of the lighting department has been a GE priority since 2017, according to Cleveland Business Journal. In 2018, GE sold off its commercial lighting division to American Industrial Partners.

Robert Madonna, CEO of Savant Systems, said the acquisition advanced his company’s goal of becoming the premier “smart home brand” and that his company was committed to sustaining GE’s reputation as a leader in lighting “while bringing exceptional value and reliability to retail partners and consumers as the number one intelligent lighting company worldwide.”

The sale ends General Electric’s 129-year career in the lighting field, which began when the company was founded by Thomas Edison from the merger of his own Edison General Electric Company and its competitor, Thomson-Houston Company, in 1892. Edison is widely credited with the invention of the incandescent lightbulb for his creation, in 1879, of a commercially successful carbon filament bulb, which improved on experimental models in terms of price and vacuum quality.

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!