GE is preparing RM6b sale of power unit


NEW YORK • General Electric Co (GE) is working with bankers on a possible sale of its power-conversion business, people familiar with the matter said, as the fallen manufacturer attempts to regain its footing by slimming down.

The unit formerly known as Converteam could fetch about US$1.5 billion (RM6.13 billion), below the US$3.2 billion GE paid for the assets in 2011, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the matter isn’t public.

Credit Suisse Group AG is working with GE on the sale process, which could begin as soon as next month and isn’t guaranteed to lead to a transaction, the people said.

The advisors are likely to approach private equity firms and companies such as Caterpillar Inc, Schneider Electric SE and ABB Ltd, the people said. GE will consider all options and could opt to keep the business, which is known for making oil-rig motors.

Representatives of GE, Credit Suisse, Schneider and ABB declined to comment. Representatives for Caterpillar didn’t respond to requests for comment.

A deal would deepen GE CEO John Flannery’s efforts to streamline the conglomerate, which is reeling from cashflow challenges and a powermarket slump. He has already agreed to unload the century-old locomotive business, while also promising to spin off the health unit and sell GE’s majority stake in oilfield-equipment maker Baker Hughes.

GE fell 26% this year through last Thursday, following a 45% plunge in 2017. The slump prompted GE’s recent expulsion from the Dow Jones Industrial Average.