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.

Source

 

Related Articles


Changing Scene

  • TALQ Consortium Released Version 2.6.0 of the Smart City Protocol

    May 24, 2024 The TALQ Consortium has released a new version 2.6.0 of its Smart City Protocol, a global interface standard for smart city device networks. Continuous evolution of the protocol ensures the interface standard constantly adapts to changing market needs. Version 2.6.0 introduces a new Cabinet Control profile, an extension of active periods and… Read More…

  • Maxlite Appoints Lance Hollner as President & Chief Executive Officer

    May 24, 2024 MaxLite is pleased to announce that its Board of Advisors has appointed Lance Hollner as its new President & CEO. A lighting industry veteran, Hollner brings over two decades of lighting expertise and knowledge to MaxLite, along with a strong track record of delivering results, driving continuous improvement, and developing talent. Much… Read More…


Design

  • G5 Series from Eralux Illuminates the Oshawa Library

    G5 Series from Eralux Illuminates the Oshawa Library

    May 23, 2024 Eralux is proud to present its latest project with the G5 Series at the Oshawa Library to improve the atmosphere and use of public spaces. Located in downtown Oshawa, Ontario, the library is a center for learning and creativity. Now that Eralux’s innovative lighting solution has been introduced, the library experience is… Read More…

  • Luminis Wins Red Dot Award for Inline

    Luminis Wins Red Dot Award for Inline

    May 14, 2024 Luminis recently announced its Inline family has received a Red Dot Design Award for Product Design. Dating back to 1955, the Red Dot Design Award is one of the world’s largest design competitions. The Red Dot Label has become established internationally as one of the most sought-after marks of quality for good… Read More…


New Products

  • Discover Evoq Cove Lighting System from Lumenwerx

    Discover Evoq Cove Lighting System from Lumenwerx

    May 23, 2024 Lumenwerx proudly introduces Evoq, an adaptable cove lighting system comprising modular light fixtures in a plug-and-play design, several mounting options, and precision-engineered optics, among other components and features. Designed with meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to innovation, Evoq sets a new industry standard, redefining the possibilities of cove lighting. Light… Read More…

  • Airlight and CDm2 Join Forces to Offer Casambi Bluetooth Control Solutions

    Airlight and CDm2 Join Forces to Offer Casambi Bluetooth Control Solutions

    May 23, 2024 CDm2 LIGHTWORKS is excited to announce a new partnership with Airlight; the authorized Canadian partner for Casambi, offering customized, future-proof control systems utilizing low energy Bluetooth 5.3. “Partnering with Airlight enables CDm2 to deliver Casambi innovative technology to our clients in support of their diverse project requirements.” Casambi is designed to be flexible… Read More…