GE moves to sell part of overseas lighting business

FILE PHOTO: The General Electric logo is pictured on the General Electric offshore wind turbine plant in Montoir-de-Bretagne, near Saint-Nazaire, western France, November 21, 2016. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo·Reuters· (Reuters)

(Reuters) - U.S. industrial conglomerate General Electric has reached a deal to sell parts of its overseas lighting business to a company controlled by former executive Joerg Bauer for an undisclosed amount. Bauer most recently served as President of GE Hungary where GE Lighting's Europe, Middle East, Africa and Turkey business is headquartered, the company said in an emailed statement. The deal, which marks the first step in the divesture of the lighting business, includes GE Lighting in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, along with its Global Automotive Lighting businesses. The remaining pieces of GE Lighting, as well as the Current, will now be marketed as part of a separate sale or sales, the company also added. The lighting business dates to the earliest days of GE, which was co-founded by Thomas Edison more than a century ago. GE has been preparing to sell the lighting business, as part of a broad restructuring plan aimed at shedding $20 billion worth of assets and focus the remaining company on three core divisions: power, aviation and health care. Profit fell sharply at GE's lighting business last year. It earned $93 million on revenue of nearly $2 billion in 2017, down from $199 million on $4.8 billion in 2016. GE Chief Executive John Flannery last month said the conglomerate was looking at restructuring options "including separately traded assets" after it announced more than $11 billion in charges from its long-term care insurance portfolio and new U.S. tax laws. The Wall Street Journal had earlier reported the sale. (Reporting by Parikshit Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)