GE to Split Into Three Public Companies:Aviation, Healthcare and Power Business

GE to Split Into Three Public Companies:Aviation, Healthcare and Power Business

By Thomas Gryta WSJ
Updated Nov. 9, 2021 5:17 pm ET

General Electric said it would split into three public companies, breaking apart the more than century-old company that was once a symbol of American manufacturing might and has struggled in recent years.

The plan is being unveiled three years after Larry Culp took over the troubled company and tried to stabilize its operations by selling off business units and paying down the company’s debt load.

The move is the culmination of a yearslong process of shrinking the company. GE has already sold off its locomotive and home appliances business. It spun off its oil-and-gas business operations. It has also sold most of its once massive financial services arm, which hobbled the company after the 2008 financial crisis. It also slashed its quarterly dividend to a token penny per share.

What remains today are three businesses—aviation, healthcare and power. The company will now spin them off into separate publicly traded companies.

“This is the best way to fully realize the potential of these businesses,” Mr. Culp said in an interview. The splits will bring more focus to the individual operations with separate boards having industry-specific expertise, benefiting customers and broadening the investor base.

The GE board began to consider the plan in the spring, Mr. Culp said, as efforts to cut GE’s debt and improve operations had progressed enough to consider such a move. “We looked at this and other options,” he said. “It was clear this is the right path for GE.”

GE plans to combine its power unit and renewable energy unit, which make turbines for power plants and wind farms, respectively, and spin off that operation in early 2024. The company’s remaining digital division will also be moved into the power business. Those units together had about $33 billion in revenue in 2020.

That would leave behind a GE focused on making and servicing jet engines. The unit, a key supplier to Boeing Co. , has been hard hit by the pandemic and had about $22 billion revenue in 2020.

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