GE has signed a proposed agreement to sell its Current, powered by GE business to American Industrial Partners. The financial details were not disclosed, but subject to the usual caveats and regulatory approvals the transaction is expected to close in early 2019.
GE’s lighting business has known to be up for sale for some time. Current is a leading provider of energy efficiency and digital productivity solutions for commercial offices, retail stores, industrial facilities and cities; its commercial technology portfolio includes LED and traditional lighting products, plus a variety of connected sensors, controls and software.
As part of the proposed sale, Current would maintain use of the GE brand under a licensing agreement. Meanwhile the North American consumer lighting business of GE Lighting is specifically not included in the deal; GE says it is still “actively engaged” in the process to sell this business.
American Industrial Partners (AIP) is a New York-based private equity firm that focuses on buying, improving and growing industrial businesses. With more than 90 transactions completed and $4.2 billion of assets under management, AIP has been an active investor for nearly 30 years; the firm is described as ‘operationally-oriented’ and focused on middle-market opportunities for industrial businesses serving both domestic and global markets.
Maryrose Sylvester, President & CEO of Current, said AIP would be “a great home” for Current – “the firm’s deep expertise in operations and engineering, combined with its highly successful track record of industrial business investments, would help us accelerate Current’s growth,” she said.
“We look forward to partnering with the AIP team to further establish Current as a leader in the rapidly growing IoT lighting space.”
“GE’s history of innovation, quality, reliability and deep domain expertise is an ideal fit with our investment strategy,” said Eric Baroyan, a Partner at AIP. “We look forward to continuing that legacy by supporting Current’s management team on the key growth initiatives, building upon Current’s extensive product portfolio and leading digital solutions that are helping customers gain energy savings and greater insights into their environment through a sophisticated intelligent ecosystem platform.”