GE Current Completes Hubbell® Acquisition Under Current Brand

EIN GE Current Hubbell 400

February 23, 2022

By David Gordon

As expected – in fact, perhaps a little earlier than most in the industry anticipated – GE Current, a Daintree company, completed its acquisition of Hubbell® Inc.’s commercial and industrial (C&I) lighting business. The combined new business will be branded as Current.

The combined strength of two iconic lighting businesses with deep innovation heritage, strong brands, and application expertise strategically positions Current to focus all investments into lighting and controls solutions. The acquisition provides an enhanced distribution footprint, digital tools to service customer needs more easily, quickly, and efficiently plus strong new product pipelines and shared patented technologies.

“This is an exciting day for Current and Hubbell’s C&I lighting business as we unite to create a powerhouse in the LED lighting and controls market,” said Manish Bhandari, President & CEO of Current. “Together, we have an unmatched breadth and depth of products, solutions, and expertise that will yield greater innovation and service for our diverse customer base now, and into the future.”

Brands that are part of the acquisition include Architectural Area LightingBeaconLiteControlKim LightingColumbia LightingPrescoliteDual-LiteCompassKurt VersenHubbell Outdoor LightingHubbell Controls Solutions, and Whiteway.

The combined business offers an extensive product portfolio of lamps, fixtures, and controls tailored to the C&I, Signage, Roadway, Horticulture, and Transportation markets. The acquisition also expands Current’s base of distribution partnerships and specific agent networks for the defined businesses and brands.

So, now that the deal is done, let’s try to read between some lines:

  • The corporate name is now Current (and no one said that M&A people are creative) but this could provide some insight into the future direction of the company. The GE part of GE Current obviously comes from the GE acquisition. How long is GE Current required to use the GE name (or pay a licensing fee?). The same goes for the Hubbell logo. Word we’ve heard is that Current has access to the Hubbell Lighting name / logo for 16 months (presumably from the date of closing.)  It would be tough to imagine Hubbell Corp allowing someone to use the Hubbell logo as their logo. So, at some point these corporate names go away. Perhaps one then another, perhaps both at the same time.
  • Since the company plans to focus on its brands, is there a different “grouping” to put under broader platforms? Do agents carry as the brand?
  • Today Current is saying the two brands’ agents remain, which could be 2-4, maybe 5, agents in a territory (GE Current has, in many territories, multiple agencies due to end-user focus). Will this stay long-term? Is this cost-effective? At LightFair in October, when the deal was announced, GE Current and Hubbell Lighting management said “wait till LightFair in June, we need to work on the sales strategy.” If you’re a lighting agent … some probably know they are safe, others will be holding their breath till LightFair or shortly thereafter.
  • The entities, either individually or collectively, really haven’t had a viable “stocking / discretionary business” offering to compete with some of the other large lines let alone lines represented by stocking agents. Will this change? Will GE Current adopt some of the Hubbell TradeSelect offering? Will it launch its own? Will their be economies of scale?
  • One of the reasons for the deal was economies of scale for components. This, ideally, is expected to result in cost savings (purchasing power) as well as the ability to better negotiate supply. Question then becomes – will this generate benefits for distributors? and when?

And what will Hubbell now do with all that cash? Special dividend? Share buybacks? Acquire someone else?

As we know, it’s an industry in change!

Your thoughts?

  • What impact does this have on distributors?
  • Agents … are you “comfortable”?
  • Competitors … has the competitive environment changed?

Go HERE to comment

david 150x200David Gordon is president of Channel Marketing Group. Channel Marketing Group works with manufacturers, distributors, manufacturer reps and technology companies in the electrical industry to help companies accelerate their performance through strategy development, marketing creativity and market research. CMG generates ideas that generate results.



Related Articles

Changing Scene

  • 5 Simple Steps Towards Sustainable Lighting

    February 20, 2024 Here are five practical actions you can take –today! – to move towards designing more sustainably. Sustainability in lighting – a broad, sometimes confusing topic, that can be looked at in many ways. Circular lighting economy, material ingredient reporting (MIRs), environmental product declarations (EPDs), life cycle analyses (LCAs), factory working conditions, carbon… Read More…

  • Lighting Design International Calls for Greater Sustainability Across Lighting Design Projects

    February 19, 2024 Leading lighting design consultancy, Lighting Design International (LDI) has been raising awareness of the need for greater sustainability across the built environment. LDI’s Associate, Arianna Ghezzi, shared these principles as part of a panel discussion at the recent and most successful Surface Design Show. The talk focused on Circularity in Lighting, and… Read More…


  • Case Study: Windsor Family Credit Union (WFCU) with Salex SW

    Case Study: Windsor Family Credit Union (WFCU) with Salex SW

    February 6, 2024 Since 1940, WFCU Credit Union is a prominent and forward-thinking financial institution based in Windsor and Essex County. For over 80 years, WFCU has been dedicated to serving Ontario residents, community, organizations, small businesses, commercial entities, and public institutions. Their new headquarters in Kitchener was created as they continue to grow their… Read More…

  • Coaticook Suspended Footbridge: An Ever-Changing Luminous Canvas, Painted by Nature

    Coaticook Suspended Footbridge: An Ever-Changing Luminous Canvas, Painted by Nature

    December 5, 2023 At 170 m (554 ft) long and 50 m (160 ft) high, the Coaticook Canyon Bridge at Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook is one of the longest suspension footbridges in North America and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Eastern Townships. For several years, the Parc de la… Read More…

New Products

  • LED Hi-Pro Expandable Lamp from Satco Nuvo Offer 320 Degree Rotation for Light Positioning

    LED Hi-Pro Expandable Lamp from Satco Nuvo Offer 320 Degree Rotation for Light Positioning

    February 22, 2024 SATCO|NUVO’s LED Hi-Pro Lamps offer a 320° rotating EX39 base making the installation of these lamps easier than ever. The two different on-unit CCT and Wattage Selectable switches give the user the power to customize the lighting for each unique environment. The notable design of the expandable light panels, when used in… Read More…

  • LED PIR Sensor Lamps from Satco Nuvo

    LED PIR Sensor Lamps from Satco Nuvo

    February 21, 2024 SATCO|NUVO’s PIR screw-base lamps with integrated motion sensor turn any luminaire into a motion activated light source without added wiring. Conveniently install lamps to improve safety and security in any application. Available in A19 and PAR38 bulb shapes and rated for wet locations, these lamps can be used indoors or outdoors, and… Read More…