... as it’s rebuffed in $1.2bn bid for oil firm Wellstream

City A.M. Reporter
GENERAL ELECTRIC (GE) was spurned in one of its largest recent efforts to build up its industrial businesses, when British oilfield services Wellstream rejected a $1.2bn (£755m) takeover approach.

News of Wellstream’s rejection came on the same day GE said it would buy Dresser, a maker of gas engines used to power oil and natural gas production equipment, and retail credit assets from Citigroup.

The US conglomerate’s offer for Wellstream comes at a time when GE officials said the firm could have $30bn available for acquisitions over the next few years.

This follows a period when GE was more active in selling operations, including its NBC Universal media unit and parts of its finance operation.

Wellstream would not comment on GE’s statement that it had made a proposal at 750p per share, which led some investors to conclude the oil services firm may be talking to other suitors.

Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE, which also owns Vetco Gray, a maker of equipment used in deep-sea oil and gas production, said that it would keep its options open.

“GE is disciplined in its acquisitions, and as such, there can be no certainty that it will take any further action,” the company said.