Chinese LED Makers Interested in Buying GE’s Remaining Lighting Units

In November 2017, General Electric (GE) announced it planned to downsize its company, narrowing focus on three sectors, and intended to cut off its lighting business.

(Image: Reuters)

After confirming the deal to sell its European operations in Hungary, GE has been looking for buyers to take over the remaining lighting units— its mainly US-based lighting business and Current, the lighting-related energy group.

Chinese lighting companies MLS Co. and Foshan Electrical and Lighting Co. are seeking financial supports for bidding GE’s asset, Reuters reported. The deal is to potentially amount at USD 1 billion, according to sources in the industry.

One source leaked that GE has sent information about the sale process to interested parties.  Interested firms might include Felio Sylvania or Osram, which is looking for an energy consulting company; while Philips Lighting is believed to be out of this matter as its CEO said that the company will mainly target small and medium sized companies for acquisition, LEDs Magazine wrote in an article.

GE said those assets could be sold either separately or together. The two Chinese firms have not made any comments on the rumor.

MLS Co., together with IDG Capital and Yiwu State-Owned Assets Operation Center, bought LEDVANCE from Osram in the prior year.

GE is also looking to sell its industrial gas engine business that is possibly worth as much as USD 2 billion. The company aims to axe assets totally worth around USD 20 billion and focuses the rest of its entity on power, aviation, and health care as it announced before.

In February, GE came to an agreement to sell its Hungary-based European, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) operations and its Global Automotive Lighting businesses to Hungarian lighting brand Tungsram, currently controlled by former GE executive Joerg Bauer.

Both parties kept mum over how much Tungsram would pay to buy GE’s units. The deal is currently waiting for local regulatory approval. Over 4,000 employees of those units will be transferred to Tungsram. Names of those units will also be replaced to help revive the buyer.

Bauer said he would share continual updates and insights on business plans once the deal closes.

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