General Electric plans to sell key parts of its digital biz, says report

The logo of General Electric Co. Photo: Reuters

General Electric Co is looking to sell key parts of its digital business, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The industrial conglomerate has hired an investment bank to organise an auction for GE Digital, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The digital business, which includes GE's Predix industrial operating system and related applications, has been struggling with technical issues, and the company began seeking partnerships in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal report did not reveal the exact assets for sale or the potential deal value.

Former GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt invested billions in the unit and positioned it as the strategic centre of GE's new role as a "digital industrial company."

The digital business, which became a standalone unit in 2015, had a revenue of $4 billion last year, a rise of 12 percent from 2016.

In June, after a year-long strategic review, GE said it would spin off its healthcare business and divest its stake in oil-services firm Baker Hughes, effectively breaking up the 126-year-old conglomerate and completing the $20-billion asset sale.

The slimmed-down company under Chief Executive John Flannery will focus on jet engines, power plants and renewable energy, which GE hopes will reward battered shareholders who have seen the stock lose more than half its value over the past 20 years.

Shares of the Boston-based company rose nearly 1 percent. GE declined to comment.