GE to divest healthcare unit, separate Baker Hughes

General Electric logo. (AFP pic)

BENGALURU: General Electric Co on Tuesday said it plans to spin off its healthcare business and separate its oil services company Baker Hughes, as it looks to streamline operations and focus on aviation, power and renewable energy units.

The news comes a day after GE agreed to sell its distributed power unit for US$3.25 billion to US buyout group Advent.

GE’s healthcare unit makes diagnostic imaging systems such as X-ray and magnetic resonance and clinical systems, including ultrasound. The business had US$19.11 billion in revenue in 2017, representing more than 15% of the company’s annual sales.

The industrial conglomerate bought Baker Hughes in July 2017 and combined it with its oil and gas equipment and services operations to create a new company in which GE holds an ownership interest of about 62.5%.

GE’s oil and gas unit reported sales of US$17.23 billion in 2017.

GE said it plans to reduce its industrial net debt by about US$25 billion by 2020 and maintain more than US$15 billion of cash on its balance sheet.