The sale of the historical division that helped build GE was announced on Wednesday. The move is hardly surprising to analysts; GE has been in the process of shedding unprofitable divisions in an effort to cut overhead and streamline the company. Previously, the company had offloaded several other divisions, including microwaves, locomotives, NBC Universal. "Today's transaction is another important step in the transformation of GE into a more focused industrial company," said GE CEO Larry Culp.
The sale of GE's historic division was to Savant Systems LLC, a company specializing in smart home technology such as lighting, security systems, climate control systems, and so on. The sale, reported by the Wall Street Journal to be valued at $250 Million, includes a licensing deal that will allow Savant to sell lighting products from GE's former division under the General Electric brand. A similar licensing agreement was struck with China's Haier
GE stock was up on the announcement of the deal. Shares of GE were up almost 7% during trading Wednesday morning, though a bad day of trading on Thursday erased some of that surge, with GE down 5.7% in the afternoon. GE's stock has been trending upward since closing at a 29-year low earlier in May, with shares of the giant up around 32% since closing at a record low. GE is still down considerably, however. Shares are down 35.1% from May of last year, indicative of the struggle GE has faced to shed its unprofitable businesses and streamline its structure after years of explosive growth.