GE to divest healthcare unit, separate Baker Hughes

GE to exit health care and oil services businesses

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"We are aggressively driving forward as an aviation, power and renewable energy company - three highly complementary businesses poised for future growth", CEO John Flannery said in a statement. The company is still trying to sell the lighting business that Edison started.

Being ousted from the Dow is the latest blow to a company dealing with a cash crisis following years of bad deals.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Danaher's approach.

Flannery concluded, "GE's mission and technology change the lives of billions of people around the world". - GE will continue to invest for the future and lead in innovative technologies like additive manufacturing and digital to lead the next wave of industrial productivity.

Investors gave a thumbs-up. At that time, the new GE Healthcare Board of Directors will determine GE Healthcare's dividend policy, which GE expects to reflect healthcare industry practices. Baker Hughes declined to comment on the departures but called its overall retention rates "strong and in line with the market".

The decision to divest does not mean GE dislikes the businesses, he said.

The restructuring is "ultimately a de facto equity raise and dividend cut when all is said and done", he wrote to clients.

Sources familiar with the matter stated that the moves are aimed to reinforce GE's balance sheets and have resulted from a year-long strategic analysis. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its holdings in Baker Hughes A GE by 15.2% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 30,916,382 shares of the company's stock worth $978,192,000 after acquiring an additional 1,618,832 shares during the period. Altogether, GE will probably generate another $5 billion or so in cash through more marginal deals.

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This after saying it would sell its distributed power business to the private equity firm Advent International for $3.25 billion on Monday. Immelt sold most of GE's banking and consumer operations.

GE will sell about 20 percent of its health-care business and distribute the rest to its shareholders over the next 12 to 18 months. The health business makes imaging machines and other hospital equipment. He's moving to simplify GE, which had grown very complex in recent decades. The Munich-based manufacturer, which competes with GE in areas such as power-generation and medical scanners, sold shares in its Healthineers subsidiary in March, marking the country's second-biggest initial public offering in nearly two decades. Investors would explain to each other that GE was 1% of the US economy.

Then the company canceled a planned switch of former Baker employees to GE's healthcare plan, several former Baker Hughes and GE Oil & Gas employees told Reuters. In addition, the company is actively exploring options to reduce its insurance exposure. It will take up to three years to sell its two-thirds stake in Baker Hughes, valued at around $23 billion. It recorded $19 billion operating profit. The Lighting business has already been pared down, and the company had no more to say about its fate although it has been seeking a buyer for more than a year.

GE Healthcare is expected to conduct business as usual throughout the process. The price of crude plummeted more than 60 percent over 2014 and 2015.

GE wants to make the health care division a standalone company.

What's more, GE's oilfield offerings were still limited compared to its rivals, constraining growth in the event of a recovery.

In a Tuesday note to employees seen by Reuters, Baker Hughes GE Chief Executive Lorenzo Simonelli complimented his "amazing team" and reassured them about the path ahead, but acknowledged "the a year ago has not always been easy for you, or our customers and partners". As a condition of its acquisition, GE can not sell its 62.5% stake in the oilfield services firm until mid-2019.

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