GE closes $4.6bn of deals to build up its business...

City A.M. Reporter
General Electric (GE) yesterday made a pair of major acquisitions despite being spurned in a third attempt to buy a UK oil firm, as the largest US conglomerate builds up its energy and finance arms.

GE reached a $3bn (£1.9bn) deal to buy Dresser, a maker of gas engines used by oil and gas production firms.

“Dresser has a global franchise and brand with 60 per cent of sales outside of North America, which will be accelerated by GE’s global footprint,” said John Krenicki, a GE vice chairman of its energy infrastructure division.

Its GE Capital finance arm, which had been its weakest point through the recession had bought $1.6bn of retail credit assets from Citigroup.

GE has been an active acquirer over most of the past decade, and chief executive Jeff Immelt has said the company will focus on deals sized at $1bn to $3bn in areas that complement its core industrial and finance businesses. The company is in the process of selling its NBC Universal media business to the biggest US cable operator Comcast.

The payoff of the company’s latest round of deals is yet to be seen, said senior portfolio manager Peter Klein at Fifth Third Asset Management.