General Electric breaks off healthcare to focus on…

GE to spin off GE Healthcare into standalone company

GE Healthcare to become standalone business

It also comes the same day as its removal from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a place in which it has held steady continuously since November 7, 1907.

GE has already agreed to sell its century-old rail division and is searching for a buyer of the iconic light bulb unit that Thomas Edison founded.

The most problematic asset GE is trying to sell is its insurance business, which has incurred hefty charges, sparked shareholder lawsuits, and an investigation by USA regulators.

Flannery added, "GE Healthcare is an industry leader with financial strength, global scale and cutting-edge technology". The stock has fallen almost 80% from its highs in 2000.

GE has seen its stock value drop precipitously in the past year. The stock carved out a 52-week low down at $25.53.

GE finalized its buyout to Baker Hughes in July 2017 and the combined company had roughly US$23 billion in annual revenue. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 22,663 shares of the company's stock, valued at approximately $811,788.66.

The company said it will spin off 80% of GE Healthcare and retain a 20% stake in the company. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 3,042 shares of the company's stock, valued at $112,462.74.

Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) is an interesting player in the Basic Materials space, with a focus on Oil & Gas Equipment & Services. Former CEO Jeffrey Immelt once said its portfolio was too broad and too opaque.

GE will sell 20 percent of the health business and spin off the rest to its shareholders, while the stake in Baker Hughes will be sold over the next two to three years.

Murphy will continue to lead the healthcare unit after the separation and the business will keep the GE brand.

CEO John Flannery on Tuesday, in an interview with the CNBC program "Squawk on the Street", said, "I'm a believer" in his company's turnaround prospects. Total debt, including pension liabilities, has almost tripled since 2013, according to Moody's. The company is still trying to sell the lighting business that Edison started.

The exit from health care mirrors a similar move by Siemens, the German industrial giant that's dramatically simplified its conglomerate structure in recent years.

The changes are created to reward battered shareholders and to strengthen GE's balance sheet by reducing debt, building up cash and further shrinking GE Capital, the company said. These transactions are expected to be completed over the next 12 to 18 months.

FILE PHOTO: Portable X-ray machines made by GE Healthcare are shown on board the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) prior to its departure from Naval Base San Diego on a four month Pacific Partnership humanitarian deployment to the South Pacific May 15, 2015.

"GE's divestiture of its core healthcare segment leaves the company with less business diversity, earnings and cash flow and as such, potential for heightened volatility in profits and cash flow".

The decision to divest does not mean GE dislikes the businesses, he said. "This is also ultimately a de facto equity raise and dividend cut when all is said and done".

Flannery concluded, "GE's mission and technology change the lives of billions of people around the world". The company is assuming an approximately $3 billion capital contribution to GE Capital in 2019.

Yet GE Capital is requiring even more resources from the parent company. In addition to the pending combination of its Transportation business with Wabtec, GE plans to separate GE Healthcare into a standalone company and pursue a separation from BHGE over the next two to three years. Those three segments made up more than half of GE's $122 billion in revenue previous year. The news sent GE's stock spiraling and triggered an investigation from the SEC.

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