GE switches off light bulb business after almost 130 years [arstechnica.com]
General Electric has finally found a buyer for its lighting business and will be selling off its last consumer-facing business after more than 120 years of operation.
Boston-based GE said [genewsroom.com] today it would divest the lighting business to Savant Systems, a smart home management company also based in Massachusetts. The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal, but sources told The Wall Street Journal [wsj.com] that the transaction was valued at about $250 million.
Savant specializes in full smart home systems for the luxury market. Acquiring a lighting business directly will allow it to take advantage of vertical integration and take more control over the physical equipment it installs in consumer' homes. Savant will keep the business's operations in Cleveland, where it is currently based, and will receive a long-term license to keep using the GE branding for its products.
The lighting business is GE's oldest segment, dating all the way back to the company's founding through a series of mergers with Thomas Edison's companies in the late 1880s and early 1890s.