NEW YORK, Nov 7 — Slumping US industrial giant General Electric announced yesterday plans to sell its energy efficiency business Current for an undisclosed sum as it works to reduce debt.
During an earnings conference call last week, GE's new Chief Executive Lawrence Culp highlighted debt reduction as a priority and confirmed the company will go ahead with a plan announced in June to shed its oil services and health business units.
Private equity firm American Industrial Partners will purchase Current, which sells energy efficiency technology to commercial, industrial and municipal customers in a transaction expected to close in 2019, the companies said.
The business sells infrastructure technology such as LED and solar, along with digital applications. GE has been reporting the business as part of its Consumer Lighting segment, which brought in US$385 million (RM1.6 billion) in revenues in the quarter ending September 30, which accounted for only about 1.4 per cent of overall industrial revenues.
GE, the once-dominant industrial giant, has been under pressure since announcing a US$22.8 billion quarterly loss on October 30, due to a large downgrade of assets. That has sparked US government investigations of GE accounting.
The day after the results, Moody's downgraded GE's debt rating, citing the weakness of the company's power business and "operational missteps."
The company, which replaced its chief executive in early October, also slashed its dividend to almost nothing. Shares of GE advanced 1.3 per cent in mid-morning trading to US$9.40. — AFP