GE to sell energy efficiency business amid power division restructuring
General Electric (GE) announced on Tuesday it is selling its energy efficiency business, Current, for an undisclosed amount to the private equity firm American Industrial Partners.
The transaction is part of a set of actions comprising a $20 billion sell-off program, including a number of sales expected to close during the fourth quarter and early 2019. GE CFO Jamie Miller said "a few Aviation businesses and Current and Lighting" were "well underway in those processes," during the company's Q3 investor call last week.
The deal, expected to close in early 2019, follows an earlier announcement about the restructuring of GE's power division.
The company had previously announced a plan to streamline its focus to its renewables, power and aviation units, putting forth a plan to sell $20 billion worth of assets. As part of those consolidation efforts, GE struck a deal with Apollo Global Management in October to offload nearly $1 billion of energy investments, including debt.
GE's share price reached nine-year lows in September, and its struggling power business hit a costly snag as complications arose with its latest gas turbine model. The turbine's blade oxidation issues pose "a significant fundamental headwind," though they are not likely to put an end to GE's power business, analyst Nick Heymann with William Blair told Utility Dive in October.
To respond to recent issues, the power division will be reorganized into two units, separating its natural gas business from other power generation assets, such as coal, nuclear and grid services.
Current is under a licensing agreement to continue using the GE brand, whereas the private equity firm trying to buy it would "provide technology investment and operational expertise," according GE's press release.
A part of GE's lighting unit, Current has an expansive Internet of Things lighting portfolio, including sensors, controls, software, LED and traditional lighting solutions, to offer "energy efficiency and digital productivity solutions" to customers ranging from commercial offices to entire cities.
A number of the transactions from GE's $20 billion disposition have already been executed this year, according to GE CFO Miller. On Wednesday, GE also completed its $3.25 billion deal to sell its Distributed Power business to private equity group Advent International.
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