By Alan Wolf, YSN
GE is selling its iconic, 129-year-old lighting business to home automation leader Savant Systems.
Under terms of the deal, which is expected to close next month, Savant will acquire GE Lighting’s expansive portfolio of residential lighting and smart home solutions and will absorb the division’s 700 employees, who will continue to operate out of the division’s Cleveland, Ohio headquarters.
A transaction price was not disclosed, although the purchase includes a long-term licensing agreement for use of the GE brand.
Savant, which recently joined the vendor roster of BrandSource affiliate ProSource, provides lighting, security, climate control, energy management and whole-home entertainment systems to custom installers. Despite GE Lighting’s mass market distribution, the company said it remains “steadfastly committed” to the professional home installation channel.
The lighting division, which had been cojoined with GE Appliances prior to the latter’s 2016 sale to China’s Haier Group, harkens back to the invention of the light bulb by GE founder Thomas Edison. In recent years the Connecticut-based conglomerate had sought to sell or spin off its two remaining consumer units to focus on its commercial operations. As GE Chairman/CEO H. Lawrence Culp, Jr. noted, the transaction represents “another important step in the transformation of GE into a more focused industrial company.”
Conversely, Savant CEO Robert Madonna, who founded the Hyannis, Mass.-based business 15 years ago, described the acquisition as a significant step toward his goal of creating “the number one smart home brand in the world.”
In announcing ProSource’s partnership with Savant in March, the buying group’s CEO and President Dave Workman said the vendor brings “a more complete lighting control option to the membership as we build this exciting new category” and “empowers our members to embrace the Savant climate and energy solutions, creating new opportunities for their businesses.”
BrandSource is a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc.