General Electric shares leap on plans to shrink finance arm

 
Emma Haslett
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By 2018, 90 per cent of its earnings will come from "high-value industrials", the company said (Source: Getty)
hares in General Electric rose eight per cent to $27.95 in morning trading in New York, after it announced plans to massively shrink its finance arm.

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Jeff Immelt, the US giant's chief executive, unveiled plans to reduce the size of GE Capital, moving the company's focus back to its manufacturing roots. The plans included a huge $50bn (£34bn) share buyback scheme - the second largest ever.

The company added it was planning to sell most of its property portfolio to Blackstone and Wells Fargo for $23bn. It also has letters of intent from other, unidentified, buyers to dispose of an additional $4bn of assets.

Immelt said it will "pursue disposition of most of GE Capital assets over the next 24 months". By 2018, the company said "high-value industrials" - including aviation, power and water - will comprise more than 90 per cent of its earnings.

GE today is a premier industrial and technology company with businesses in essential infrastructure industries. These businesses are leaders in technology, the Industrial Internet and advanced manufacturing. They are well-positioned in growth markets and are delivering superior customer outcomes, while achieving higher margins. They will be paired with a smaller GE Capital, whose businesses are aligned with GE’s industrial growth.

However, the company expects to take charges of $16bn on the restructuring in the first quarter, although $12bn of that will be non-cash.

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