General Electric is saying goodbye to the light bulb. The conglomerate is shedding a struggling business founded by Thomas Edison more than a century ago.
After years of failing to find a buyer, GE announced Wednesday it will sell its 129-year-old lighting division to smart home company Savant Systems.
The deal marks the latest step in dismantling the GE empire, which is saddled with too much debt and poor-performing businesses.
GE has previously unloaded units that make microwaves, locomotives and washing machines as well as NBC Universal and much of its troubled financial arm.
“Today’s transaction is another important step in the transformation of GE into a more focused industrial company,” GE CEO Larry Culp said in a statement.
GE-branded light bulbs are not going away, however. Much like GE’s sale of its appliance division to China’s Haier in 2016, the lighting transaction includes a long-term licensing agreement that allows Savant to use the storied GE brand. That means shoppers will still see the GE-branded light bulbs in stores.
GE (GE), whose shares surged 7% on the news, declined to provide financial details about the sale.
Savant, founded in 2005, was the first to roll out Apple-based smart home systems. The company originally catered to luxury homes but has since expanded, through a series of acquisitions, into mass market appeal.