GE to spin off lending unit, plans IPO later this year
Fairfield, Conn. • General Electric is moving ahead with plans to spin off its North American consumer lending unit, and it aims to complete an initial public offering for the business later this year.
The company, to be called Synchrony Financial, estimates proceeds of up to $100 million from the offering, a figure it devised primarily to calculate a filing fee, according to a document filed Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The document did not indicate how many shares will be offered or at what price.
General Electric Co., based in Fairfield, Conn., announced last fall that it would spin off the business, which is part of GE Capital and provides store credit cards through retailers like Wal-Mart and the home-improvement chain Lowe's.
GE has been shifting its focus more toward industrial equipment and appliances. CEO Jeff Immelt said last spring that GE wants to reduce the finance arm's assets from about $400 billion in 2013's first quarter to between $300 billion and $350 billion by the end of next year.
The company's products include jet engines, medical diagnostic equipment, oil and gas drilling equipment and washing machines.
The planned Synchrony Financial spinoff also works with retailers like Amazon and Ethan Allen. It had 62 million active accounts last year, when it financed $93.9 billion in sales.
According to the SEC filing, the unit recorded $2 billion in earnings last year.