12Jun GE are Officially Selling their Lighting Division

Following months of rumours, it is now being widely reported that GE Lighting is up for sale, based on an internal memo by GE President and CEO Bill Lacey on Thursday 8th June.

"Change breeds opportunity."

Were the words Bill Lacey sent to employees in the internal memo sent just four months after taking over as President and CEO.

Lacey says GE is still early in the process of finding a buyer, and there should be a number of options in the future.. The memo to employees does not say anything about future plans, but points out that when GE sold its appliances division, those teams continued to thrive.  GE sold the appliances division for a reported $5.6 billion. Talks with potential suitors have only just begun so there is no word on the potential price of the sale of GE Lighting yet however The Wall Street Journal reported in April that a sale could be valued at $500 million.

The sale of GE Lighting does not include the company's Current division, which uses technology and digital networks on commercial buildings and industrial facilities. Current products were featured prominently during last month's LIGHTFAIR event.  Its portfolio includes use of IoT, digital lighting with wireless control and lighting in intelligent buildings. 

A spokeswoman with GE confirmed the sale to the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper and Crain's Business Cleveland, but did not go into details about a timeline or potential buyers.  The GE Lighting plant in Cleveland has shrunk in the past few years, dropping from 700 employees to around 300 right now.

The storied company cited a desire to "focus on its core digital industrial assets" and lead the "digital industrial era." CEO Jeff Immelt has refocused attention on areas the company feels it can lead, including healthcare, trains, wind turbines, jet engines and ways to make manufacturers more productive.

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