General Electric is selling off its real estate assets and much of GE Capital to focus on its industrial businesses, including energy, healthcare and aviation. By 2018, its core industrial offering will make up 90 percent of the business, up from 57 percent in 2014.
The energy sector will be increasingly important for GE as the company refocuses on industrial lines of business. In the next two years, GE will dispose of various assets in GE Capital, except for those that relate to GE Industrial Solutions. The remaining GE Capital will be worth $90 billion in net investments, according to the company.
The company’s stock price was up over 8 percent to $27.90 per share at midday trading on Friday.
“This is a major step in our strategy to focus GE around its competitive advantages. GE today is a premier industrial and technology company with businesses in essential infrastructure industries,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt in a statement. “They will be paired with a smaller GE Capital, whose businesses are aligned with GE’s industrial growth.”
GE Capital Real Estate is being sold to funds managed by Blackstone and Wells Fargo in a deal worth about $26 billion. It will also sell off its commercial lending and leasing segment and all consumer platforms in the U.S. and abroad.
GE Capital has been shrinking since 2008, when its net investments totaled nearly $538 billion. The company had already announced it was spinning off Synchrony Financial, which could return $90 billion to investors through 2018.
The sale of GE Capital could yield an additional $35 billion in dividends. In the short term, GE will take a $16 billion charge after taxes in Q1 of this year.
GE’s acquisition of Alstom last summer is the latest example of the company’s focus on investment in the power sector. It beat out Siemens and Mitsubishi for Alstom by forging an alliance with the French grid giant and will have joint ventures in grid, nuclear and renewables.
“We are completing another definitive and important move to reshape GE for the future,” said Immelt. “Our best days are ahead.”