March 27, 2003 GE PLASTIC
GE Plastics announces the next
generation of Polycarboneate: Clear LEXAN® EXL Resin
--New Transparent Material Improves Durability and Impact Strength of Standard Polycarbonate Resin--
GE Plastics, a division of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) headquartered here, today announced the development of clear LEXAN® EXL resin, a new transparent polymer. This breakthrough product utilizes technology that dramatically increases the toughness of polycarbonate resin while maintaining its clarity. The product is viewed as a "new and improved" LEXAN resin, the flagship product of GE Plastics. 2003 marks the 50th anniversary of the discovery of LEXAN resin by GE scientist Dr. Daniel W. Fox.
LEXAN EXL resin builds on the outstanding mechanical properties of standard polycarbonate by adding silicone into its molecular structure. Major benefits of this copolymerization include increased impact resistance, improved processability and release properties, and better UV weatherability. LEXAN EXL resin's added low-temperature impact strength and cold-temperature ductility to -40°C allow it to withstand prolonged outdoor exposure.
"This is an exciting breakthrough in materials technology," said GE Plastics President and CEO John Krenicki. "It is particularly exciting for us to make this announcement as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the discovery of LEXAN resin. Clear LEXAN EXL is a terrific new material that adds to our proud legacy of innovation here at GE Plastics."
"We expect this new resin to find a fit in many places where polycarbonate and other transparent materials are used today," added John Dineen, Vice President and General Manager, Global Lexan Business. "We also expect that this clear material can open up new application possibilities for us. Clear LEXAN EXL will serve as a product development platform, and we plan to introduce material upgrades to our general purpose, flame retardant and UV stabilized products."
LEXAN EXL resin is also available as an opaque material, offering improved impact performance, processability and release properties, as well as cold temperature ductility compared to standard polycarbonate.
GE Plastics expects clear LEXAN EXL to benefit OEMs in several industries including eyewear, water bottles, medical applications, building and construction applications and lighting. "As consumers, we have all seen the importance of toughness in plastic parts," said Dineen. "The impact performance of clear LEXAN EXL can help manufacturers improve on the designs of their products that need to withstand the rigors of everyday life. We also anticipate this to be an attractive alternative to other clear materials beyond polycarbonate." Selective product sampling for clear Lexan EXL is underway, and full commercialization is expected later in 2003.
GE Plastics is a leading producer of engineering thermoplastics, with major production facilities worldwide. GE Plastics materials, including LEXANR polycarbonate, are used in a wide variety of applications such as CDs, automobile parts, computer housings, cookware, outdoor signage, cell phones, bullet resistant shielding and building materials. Through its LNP Engineering Plastics business, the company is a worldwide leader in the custom compounding of engineering thermoplastics. GE Plastics is also a global distributor of sheet, film, rod and tube products through GE Polymershapes and GE Structured Products. In 2003 GE Plastics is celebrating 50 years of innovation and the 50th Anniversary of LEXAN polycarbonate, discovered in 1953 by GE chemist Dr. Daniel W. Fox. The company's Web site is located at www.geplastics.com. For more information about LEXAN, visit www.gelexan.com
LEXAN is a registered trademark of General Electric Company.
2003/11/10 General Electric
exchange acquisition by General Electric Company and GE
Investments, Inc. of Amersham plc
Summary of the
|・||GE and Amersham announce their agreement on the terms of a recommended share exchange acquisition by GE of Amersham.|
|・||The making of the Acquisition is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain regulatory pre-conditions and is expected to be effected by means of a scheme of arrangement under section 425 of the Companies Act.|
|・||Applying the Exchange Ratio on the basis of the Sterling GE Price at Announcement of £18.32, Amersham Shareholders would be entitled to 0.4367 New GE Shares for every Amersham Share held. On this basis, the terms of the Acquisition value each Amersham Share at 800 pence and the diluted share capital of Amersham at approximately £5.7 billion ($9.5 billion).|
|・||These terms represent a premium of approximately 45 per cent. over the price of an Amersham Share of 552 pence as at the close of business on 7 October 2003, the last trading day prior to the announcement by Amersham that it had received an approach.|
|・||Upon completion of the Acquisition, Sir William Castell will become a Vice Chairman and member of the Board of Directors of General Electric and, as CEO of GE Healthcare Technologies, will have financial and leadership responsibility for GE Healthcare Technologies, the combined Amersham and GE Medical businesses. Sir William Castell will also lead the integration process to deliver the expected operating synergies. Joseph Hogan, Senior Vice President of General Electric, will continue to lead the GE Medical business. The GE Healthcare Technologies business will be based with Sir William Castell in the UK.|
|・||The Acquisition will be made in exchange for New GE Shares based on an Exchange Ratio which will be finally determined at Completion. The Exchange Ratio is subject to certain adjustments depending on movements in the Sterling GE Price up to the Completion Date.|
|―If the Sterling GE Price at
Completion is below the Sterling GE Price at
Announcement, the Exchange Ratio will increase to provide
that Amersham Shareholders continue to receive New GE
Shares with a value in sterling of 800 pence, save that
in no circumstances shall GE deliver pursuant to the
Acquisition more than the Maximum Exchange Ratio of
0.5571 New GE Shares per Amersham Share.
―The Maximum Exchange Ratio would be reached if the Sterling GE Price at Completion declined to £14.36, which is 21.6 per cent. lower than the Sterling GE Price at Announcement.
―If the Sterling GE Price at Completion is above the Sterling GE Price at Posting (the period between Posting and Completion is expected to be approximately 6 weeks), the Exchange Ratio (as determined at Posting) will remain fixed until the value in sterling of the New GE Shares to be received equals 808 pence per Amersham Share and will then be reduced proportionately to maintain a maximum value in sterling of 808 pence per Amersham Share at Completion. The Exchange Ratio at Posting will be set out in the Acquisition Document.
―Once the value per Amersham Share determined by the Exchange Ratio has reached 808 pence there will be no limit to the proportionate reduction in the number of New GE Shares which would be received under the Acquisition as the Sterling GE Price increases.
|・||The acquisition of Amersham, a global leader in diagnostic imaging agents and in life sciences, significantly advances General Electric’s strategy of addressing high-growth, high-technology segments of the global healthcare industry. Amersham’s imaging agents and biosciences businesses will add new, high-technology platforms to GE Medical’s diagnostic imaging, healthcare services and information technology businesses, positioning GE Medical to participate in exciting new developments in molecular imaging and personalised medicine.|
|・||The combination of Amersham and GE Medical is expected by General Electric to be non-dilutive to 2004 earnings per share (before in-process research and development charges) and $0.01 accretive in 2005. General Electric expects to generate revenue synergies by the end of the third full year in the order of $350 million to $400 million per annum, which are expected to translate into operating profit synergy benefits of $100 million to $200 million per annum. General Electric expects the revenue synergies to be achieved through a variety of means, including access to new channels for each company’s products and services, channel efficiencies, accelerated global expansion and new product introductions. Similarly, General Electric expects to achieve cost synergies for the combined business in the range of $300 million to $400 million per annum by the end of the third full year, an amount that represents approximately 3 per cent. of the combined businesses’ total cost base. General Electric expects these cost synergies to be achieved through a variety of means including improved sourcing, reduced general and administration and global infrastructure costs and operating efficiencies across the combined businesses. General Electric expects approximately half of these revenue and cost synergies to be achieved by the end of the first full year following the Acquisition.|
|・||The Amersham Board, which has been so advised by JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, considers the terms of the Acquisition to be fair and reasonable. In providing advice to the Amersham Board, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley have taken into account the commercial assessment of the Amersham Board. Accordingly, the Amersham Board intends unanimously to recommend that Amersham Shareholders vote in favour of the Scheme (or, if applicable, accept the Offer) as the directors of Amersham have undertaken to do in respect of their own respective beneficial holdings of Amersham Shares (representing, in aggregate, approximately 0.05 per cent. of the Amersham Shares currently in issue).|
Commenting on the
acquisition, Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman of the Board and Chief
Executive of General Electric, said:
“GE and Amersham will be an exciting combination of talents, businesses and technologies. Amersham’s diagnostic pharmaceutical and life sciences business will add new, high growth platforms to GE Medical’s diagnostic imaging, services and healthcare information technology businesses. The combination of this technological and market knowledge will allow GE to accelerate the development of molecular imaging and personalised medicine where it will be possible to predict and treat disease with therapies tailored to the individual.
We’re delighted to bring Sir William Castell and his team to GE to help make this vision a reality.”
Donald Brydon, Chairman
of Amersham, said:
“The combination of these businesses represents good value for our shareholders and is good news for our customers and employees.”
Sir William Castell, Chief Executive of Amersham, said:
“Combined with the complementary capabilities of General Electric this transaction enables us to accelerate the realisation of our vision of personalised medicine. We will have the competencies, the marketing reach and the financial resources to bring disease prediction, diagnosis and personalised treatment into the mainstream of medical practice. Our customers should now raise their expectations as to what is deliverable from this new chapter in medicine.”
Information on Amersham
Amersham, headquartered in the
UK, is a global leader in medical diagnostics and life sciences.
The Amersham Group employs over 10,000 people worldwide and had
sales of £1.6 billion ($2.4
billion) in 2002. The Amersham Group was formed in 1997 through the mergers of Amersham
International (UK), Pharmacia Biotech (Sweden) and Nycomed
Amersham has three main business areas: medical diagnostics, operating as Amersham Health, and protein separations and discovery systems, together operating as Amersham Biosciences.
|・||Amersham Health (59 per cent. of total Amersham sales in 2002) develops, manufactures and distributes diagnostic imaging agents and radio-pharmaceuticals for all imaging modalities that are used in medical imaging procedures. These diagnostic agents enhance and enable the imaging of anatomy, organs, tissue and cells to assist with the early detection, diagnosis and management of diseases. Key products include the imaging agents Omnipaque TM , Myoview TM , Omniscan TM and Visipaque TM ;|
|・||Protein separations (17 per cent. of total Amersham sales in 2002) develops, manufactures and distributes chromatography purification systems, membrane products and reagents that are used in the development and manufacture of biopharmaceuticals and for the laboratory scale separation of proteins for research and drug development; and|
|・||Discovery systems (24 per cent. of total Amersham sales in 2002) develops, manufactures and distributes instruments, reagents and software that are used for drug discovery, research and development with applications including protein and DNA analysis for genomics and proteomics, cellular screening and bioassays.|
For the financial year ended 31 December 2002, Amersham reported sales of £1.6 billion ($2.4 billion) and net income of £179 million ($269 million). For the six-month period ended 30 June 2003, Amersham reported sales of £808 million ($1.3 billion) and net income of £45 million ($72 million). As at 31 December 2002, Amersham had net assets of £1.2 billion ($1.9 billion) (at 30 June 2003: £1.2 billion ($2.0 billion)).
Information on General
General Electric, headquartered in the United States, is a diversified technology and services company dedicated to creating products that make life better from aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, medical imaging, television broadcasting and plastics. General Electric operates in more than 100 countries and employs more than 315,000 people worldwide, including approximately 75,000 in Europe.
GE Medical is a global leader in diagnostic imaging, healthcare services and information technology.
Its offerings include networking and productivity tools, clinical information systems, patient monitoring systems, surgery and vascular imaging, conventional and digital X-ray, computed tomography, electron beam computed tomography, magnetic resonance, ultrasound and bone mineral densitometry, positron emission tomography, nuclear medicine and a full line of clinical and business services. For more than 100 years, health-care providers worldwide have relied on GE Medical for high quality medical technology and productivity solutions. GE Medical operates in more than 100 countries and employs more than 30,000 people worldwide. For the financial year ended 31 December 2002, GE Medical reported sales of $9.0 billion (£6.0 billion) and operating profit of $1.5 billion (£1.0 billion). For the six-month period ended 30 June 2003, GE Medical reported revenues of $4.5 billion (£2.8 billion) and operating profit of $746 million (£463 million).
Background to and Reasons for the Acquisition
GE’s acquisition of Amersham strongly fits with the GE Group’s overall strategy for growth. The GE Group’s ongoing strategy centres on five key growth initiatives:
|・||Building on the GE Group’s commitment to Technological Excellence to expand margins and build its installed base of products;|
|・||Providing Services for the customers of the GE Group to improve returns, competitiveness and customer satisfaction;|
|・||Enduring Customer Relationships that help customers and the GE Group win together over the long term;|
|・||Continuing Globalisation of the GE Group’s activities to accelerate growth and increase competitiveness - tapping new markets, new sources of supply and new intellectual capital - hiring the very best people from all around the world; and|
|・||Allocating Capital in businesses and markets that can increase growth and provide higher returns. The GE Group not only grows by acquiring businesses but more importantly by growing the businesses it acquires.|
acquisition of Amersham, a global leader in diagnostic
imaging agents and in life sciences, significantly
advances General Electric’s strategy of addressing
high-growth, high-technology segments of the global
healthcare industry. Amersham’s imaging agents and biosciences
businesses will add new, high-technology platforms to GE
diagnostic imaging, healthcare services and information
technology businesses, positioning GE Medical to
participate in exciting new developments in molecular
imaging and personalised medicine. Through the
combination of skills in imaging, engineering, biology,
chemistry and instrumentation the combined companies will
be able to take the knowledge being generated in gene and
protein research directly into diagnosis. This will
enable GE Medical to accelerate the development of
molecular imaging and personalised medicine, where it
will be possible to predict, prevent and treat disease
with therapies tailored to the individual.
General Electric’s management believes the Acquisition will:
|・||Position General Electric for a new chapter in medicine by creating a healthcare company with broad expertise in imaging, diagnostic pharmaceuticals and drug discovery;|
|・||Create a group of technology and service driven healthcare businesses which will have combined 2003 pro forma revenues in excess of $13 billion;|
|・||Accelerate the development of molecular imaging and personalised medicine by more rapidly developing and bringing to market new targeted imaging agents and diagnostics that will enable our customers to diagnose, treat and monitor diseases at an earlier stage than ever before;|
|・||Expand the addressable customer base, providing significant new channels for each company’s products and services around the world. For example, General Electric expects to access new sales channels in the pharmaceutical industry for GE Medical’s imaging technology and services;|
|・||Perform financially for investors. The combination of Amersham and GE Medical is expected by General Electric to be non-dilutive to 2004 earnings per share (before in-process research and development charges) and $0.01 accretive in 2005. General Electric expects to generate revenue synergies by the end of the third full year in the order of $350 million to $400 million per annum, which are expected to translate into operating profit synergy benefits of $100 million to $200 million per annum. General Electric expects the revenue synergies to be achieved through a variety of means, including access to new channels for each company’s products and services, channel efficiencies, accelerated global expansion and new product introductions. Similarly, General Electric expects to achieve cost synergies from the combined business in the range of $300 million to $400 million per annum by the end of the third full year, an amount that represents approximately 3 per cent. of the combined businesses’ total cost base. General Electric expects these cost synergies to be achieved through a variety of means including improved sourcing, reduced general and administration and global infrastructure costs and operating efficiencies across the combined businesses. General Electric expects approximately half of these revenue and cost synergies to be achieved by the end of the first full year following the Acquisition ; and|
|・||Strengthen General Electric’s capital base and AAA credit rating through the issuance of General Electric stock, while maximising flexibility to fund future growth.|
Jan 31, 2005 General Electric
GE DEDICATES THIRD PHASE
OF GE ADVANCED MATERIALS, PLASTICS COMPLEX IN CARTAGENA
General Electric (NYSE:
GE) officially dedicated today its new LEXAN* resin plant in
Cartagena, Murcia, at an event hosted by Chairman and CEO Jeff
Immelt. This is the third phase of the GE Advanced Materials,
Plastics complex and represents an investment of 600 million
euros. The planned construction of a fourth phase, GE’s ULTEM*(ポリエーテルイミド) resins plant, was also announced
during the inaugural event.
The inauguration of GE’s 2nd Cartagena LEXAN* resin plant brings its total investment in the Cartagena complex to 1,700 million euros. This represents one of the largest private investments in Spain in the last 20 years and confirms that GE is one of the biggest private investors in the Spanish economy.
The new GE plant is expected to employ more than 250 people, increasing the total number of employees in the Cartagena complex to over 600, all of whom have been trained in quality, safety, information technology, and other technical disciplines. Employees of GE's new plant will focus on the production of LEXAN* resin. They will also continuously collaborate with scientists at GE’s Global Research Centres to help define the future technical materials needs of the GE’s customers.
The new GE plant has the capacity of producing approximately 130,000 tons of LEXAN* resin per year. Based on current global demand for GE’s LEXAN* resin, much of the plant’s output is currently anticipated to be absorbed by the market. The plant was designed using six sigma rigor, GE’s quality standard, and was based on its twin facility with which it has production synergies. GE expects that over 90 percent of the plant’s production will be exported from Murcia to customers around the world. In 2003 alone, exports of thermoplastics from Cartagena were valued at 300 million euros, over 8% of Murcia´s total exports. The total investment in the region for the 1993-2002 period is over 2.85 billion euros.
“LEXAN polycarbonate (PC) resin is known around the world for its benefits to industry and the consumer,” said John Krenicki, president and CEO of GE Advanced Materials. “LEXAN is tough, clear and virtually unbreakable. GE is proud to make even more LEXAN resin products in Cartagena to serve customers and consumers around the world.”
GE’s Cartagena site is an example of innovation and efficiency in safety management. In the last two years of the plant’s construction, with over 3.000 contractors, there were no accidents. In November 2004, the complex surpassed the million working hours milestone without any lost-time accidents.
The Cartagena complex is committed to environmental leadership, as is reflected in its policies of waste management, emissions control, and ISO 14001 quality standards. Between 1993 and 2003, GE invested 40 million euros for environment protection on the plant’s site. Additionally, through its volunteer program, GE Elfun Volunteers, GE has dedicated over 300 volunteers and more than 3,000 volunteer hours to programs in nearby communities.
GE also announced today that it plans to continue its investment in Murcia with the construction of a new plant that will manufacture high performance polymers under the ULTEM* resin brand. No details on the planned investment or construction plans were made available at the event.
General Electric has been present in Spain for more than 50 years. At this moment, the biggest divisions, including 40 commercial units, 12 industrial plants and more than 3,400 employees, have commercial activities in Spain. In 2004, the sales represented more than 1,900 million dollars.
2007/1/12 AsiaPulse via
INDIA'S RELIANCE INDUSTRIES EYEING GE'S PLASTICS UNIT
Mukesh Ambani group flagship Reliance Industries, the country's largest private company, is eyeing global conglomerate GE's Plastics unit, estimated to be valued at about US$10 billion.
RIL is considering a takeover of GE Plastics, which is expected to be soon put on the block and has generated interest among various private equity buyout firms, sources close to the development said.
While an RIL spokesperson declined to comment, industry sources said: "It makes business sense as GE Plastics could give the Indian conglomerate a global marketing network."
The company has been looking for opportunities to expand its presence in petrochemicals and plastics businesses across the world, as part of which it had unsuccessfully pursued acquisition of UK energy giant BP Plc's petrochemicals business Innovene last year, sources said.
However, GE Plastics could be a strategic business opportunity for RIL, they added.
In the past, RIL had acquired German speciality polyester manufacturer Trevira for 80 million euro (Rs 430 crore, US$103.76 million) a couple of years ago.
GE is still to announce whether it is planning to sell its plastics business unit, but reports in the 'Wall Street Journal' and 'The New York Times' said the US industrial conglomerate is planning to sell the business, whose value is estimated to be close to US$10 billion.
A spokesperson for GE Plastics was not immediately available for comment.
JANUARY 12, 2007 India Times
RIL in race for GE Plastics
MUMBAI: Mukesh Ambani group flagship Reliance Industries is said to be exploring the possibility of joining the bidding race for General Electric's underperforming plastics business, estimated to be valued at about $10 billion.
A senior Reliance official, on condition of anonymity, told ET the firm was waiting for more clarity on the bidding process, before finalising its strategy. "We are convinced that acquisitions make strategic sense, if we have to grow faster in the plastics business. There are very few such opportunities that come up globally."
The official Reliance spokesperson declined comment. An email sent to Reliance went unanswered. The official GE Plastics spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
If Reliance eventually enters the fray, this could count as the biggest overseas M&A transaction an Indian firm is involved in. So far, Tata Steel's bid for Anglo-Dutch major Corus is tipped to cross the $9.6-billion mark. Early last year, Reliance Industries had made an unsuccessful $8-billion bid for BP's Innovene.
According to unconfirmed media reports, GE is said to have mandated Goldman Sachs to seek bids from individual private equity firms in a bid to foster competition. Goldman had in turn imposed a blanket ban on four of the largest buyout firms from teaming up to bid jointly, for fear of antitrust objections.
Jeffrey Immelt, GE's executive chairman, has repeatedly told investors the company was reviewing the plastic divisio's future, which has been hit by the rising costs of raw materials and natural gas on its $7 billion-a-year sales. If the bidding process is opened up, Reliance may not be the only interested party.
Analysts have speculated that GE Plastics could attract a range of global contenders ranging from the US-based Dow Chemicals, Du Pont, Rohm and Haas, and PetroChina.
Officials say GE Plastics could prove to be a strong strategic fit for Reliance. "GE Plastics enjoys very credibility in the global market. More than the physical infrastructure, it is GE Plastic's customer relationships that really matter," said the official.
Reliance's 3.5 million tonne plastics business is largely commodity-led. Even though 30% of the volumes are exported, most of it is through the trading route, where margins are relatively low. It has a negligible presence in the superior engineering plastics business, which is largely used by auto components and consumer durable manufacturers.
So far, Reliance has just begun developing a domestic market for superior engineering plastic by working closely with Videocon and Maruti. "Despite being among the top ten plastic manufacturers in the world, we are unable to service large global customers.
On the other hand, GE Plastics has a significant presence in the superior engineering plastics business and a history of strong relationship of working closely with global automotive majors," the official added.
At this year's AGM, chairman Mukesh Ambani had stressed on inorganic growth as a way to enhance their global competitiveness. Reliance is pursuing the three-pronged strategy of enhancing growth margins through an emphasis on premium grades and new capacity additions and acquisitions and new technology development.
Sources say Reliance is said to be exploring a tie-up with Dow Chemicals. The US major has signed an MoU with Reliance to set up a unit in Reliance's Jamnagar SEZ. In turn, Dow would offer a substantial stake in its struggling petrochem unit in the US.
A formal announcement is expected anytime. Sources say the bid for GE Plastics is contingent on whether Reliance is able to expand its strategic relationship with Dow Chemicals.
GE to Acquire Abbott’s in vitro and Point-of-Care
Diagnostics Businesses for $8.13 Billion, Broadening Capabilities
in Growing Global Industry
General Electric Company and Abbott, a global leader in medical diagnostic instruments and tests, announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement for GE to acquire Abbott’s primary in vitro diagnostics businesses and Abbott Point-of-Care diagnostics business (formerly known as i-STAT) for $8.13 billion in cash. Abbott’s Molecular Diagnostics and Diabetes Care businesses are not part of the transaction and will remain part of Abbott.
The addition of two of Abbott’s core laboratory diagnostics businesses will broaden GE Healthcare’s diagnostic offerings. Abbott’s in vitro diagnostic (in vitro diagnostics test blood or urine samples to diagnose disease or other conditions) complement GE’s existing positions in in vivo diagnostic imaging systems (in vivo imaging uses X-ray, magnetic resonance, ultrasound or other imaging procedures to look at what is in the body to diagnose disease), as well as its molecular imaging, information technology, and patient monitoring capabilities across the complete healthcare continuum.
GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt, said, “This acquisition is consistent with GE’s strategy to invest in high-technology global infrastructure businesses that deliver strong top-line growth, earnings expansion and expanded margins. Abbott’s diagnostics business is the premier platform in this industry and fits very well with our Healthcare strategy. Abbott’s global position in the growing diagnostics field is aligned with our objective to deliver a comprehensive array of diagnostic products to customers around the world.”
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, has been approved by the Boards of Directors of Abbott and GE and is targeted to close in the first half of 2007.
The acquisition reflects GE Healthcare’s strategy to combine early diagnosis with information technology to enable a new "early health" model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention.
Abbott’s in vitro diagnostics business is a global leader with a strong tradition of developing first-of-a-kind products that have helped create the modern diagnostics industry. Abbott is a world leader in immunoassays and blood screening. Abbott’s broad range of medical tests and diagnostic instrument systems are used worldwide by hospitals, laboratories, blood banks, and physician offices to diagnose and monitor diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, cancer, heart failure and metabolic disorders, as well as assess other important indicators of general health.
Abbott Point-of-Care manufactures diagnostic products for blood analysis to provide health care professionals critical diagnostics information accurately and immediately at the point of patient care. In addition to its excellent offerings in the blood gas and chemistries segment, Abbott also provides point-of-care cardiac assays to the emergency room.
Abbott’s in vitro diagnostics business, including Point-of-Care, is expected to generate net sales of approximately$2.7 billion in 2006.
Miles D. White, Abbott’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The laboratory diagnostics market has changed considerably in the last decade. Innovation in this segment will be increasingly driven by automation, system integration and a host of skills that GE can offer. As part of GE, Abbott’s core diagnostics and point-of-care businesses will be powerfully positioned to sustain and extend their market success.”
For Abbott, the transaction is expected to be neutral to earnings-per-share in 2007 before specified items and accretive thereafter.
GE said the transaction will be accretive to earnings.
Joe Hogan, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, said, “Over the last 5?to-10 years, we have been able to drive organic growth as well as successfully integrate major acquisitions like Amersham in a way beneficial to employees and investors. Through this acquisition, we create the opportunity to integrate our broad-based competencies in diagnostics, life sciences and healthcare information technology. In-vitro diagnostics and in vivo imaging continue to become more important in providing comprehensive diagnostic solutions. Our capabilities combined with Abbott’s in vitro diagnostics and point-of-care diagnostic businesses will allow GE to provide customers with better tools for the full care continuum, enhancing their decision-making capabilities in key disease areas such as oncology and cardiology, and enabling early disease detection, diagnosis and treatment. ”
GE is Imagination at Work -- a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world’s toughest problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and advanced materials, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies?and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems,?performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform and treat disease, so their patients can live their lives to the fullest.
GE Healthcare's broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases, and other conditions earlier. Our vision for the future is to enable a new "early health" model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $15 billion unit of General Electric Company. Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 43,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com.
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 65,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.
About Abbott Diagnostics
Abbott Diagnostics is a global leader in in vitro diagnostics. With more than 69,000 institutional customers in more than 100 countries, Abbott’s diagnostic products offer customers automation, convenience, cost effectiveness and flexibility.
Abbott’s core laboratory diagnostics business products include: automated blood screening systems to detect infectious agents such as HIV and strains of hepatitis in donated blood and plasma; immunodiagnostics instruments and tests that measure antibody or antigen reactions to detect disease; clinical chemistry instruments and reagents to measure and monitor glucose, electrolytes, enzymes, proteins and lipids as indicators of patient health; hematology systems that perform sophisticated blood cell analyses; and automation systems and software solutions to help laboratories integrate equipment, reduce errors and enhance productivity.
About Abbott Point of Care
Abbott Point of Care, headquartered in East Windsor, New Jersey, develops, manufactures and markets critical medical diagnostic and data management products for rapid blood analysis. The company's premier product is the i-STAT System, a market-leading hand-held blood analyzer used in emergency departments, surgical suites, neonatal intensive care units and other critical care settings that is capable of performing a panel of commonly ordered blood tests on two or three drops of blood at the patient's bedside.
Utilizing 18 different self-contained test cartridges, the i-STAT System delivers lab-accurate testing for blood gases, electrolytes, chemistries, coagulation, hematology, glucose and cardiac markers in just minutes. By providing these critical test results rapidly, health care providers can quickly monitor and effectively manage their patients' care.
Feb 08, 2007 Chemweek's
GE Plastics, PetroChina Suspend Work China Polycarbonate Project
Plans for a world-scale polycarbonate (PC) joint venture plant in China between GE Plastics and PetroChina have been suspended, according to officials with GE Plastics. The outlook for demand in China remains very strong but recent and planned capacity additions have pressured margins. "At the end of the day, the economics do not justify the investment [in a resin plant] right now," says Brian Gladden, v.p. and general manager of Lexan polycarbonate resin and global product companies for GE Plastics. "We are still massively committed to China. We continue to make big investments in compounding and other resources there." Project engineering was advanced, and the project could be revisited at a later date, Gladden adds. Under terms of the initial jv agreement, PetroChina was to supply feedstocks for the plant, and both companies were to collaborate on a phosgene-free, melt technology-based PC. GE previously said it had hoped to break ground on the project in 2007 and start production as soon as 2009.
March 26 2007 Financial Times
Saudis line up bid for GE
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, the largest public company in the Middle East, is lining up a bid for General Electric's plastics division in a deal that could be valued at up to $12bn.
Sabic has appointed Citigroup to prepare an indicative offer ahead of the first round of the auction in mid-April. The move underlines the appetite of Gulf state investment funds for investments outside home markets.
Sabic, 70 per cent-owned by the Saudi government, is one of the world's 10 largest petrochemicals manufacturers. Its market capitalisation is more than $100bn.
Last year, it paid $700m in cash for the UK-based European Base Chemicals and Polymers business of Huntsman Corporation, headquartered in the US.
At the time, Mohamed Al-Mady, vice-chairman and chief operating officer, said the deal demonstrated Sabic's commitment to expanding globally.
In January, GE, the world's second-biggest company by market capitalisation, said it would explore the sale of its plastics arm. Goldman Sachs is managing the sale process.
In an unusual move, GE imposed restrictions on which private equity groups could team up, to increase its control over the auction and create competitive tension between bidders.
GE expects a mix of trade and private equity bids for the division. Financial sponsors are keen to win the asset because the stable cash flows lend themselves to high levels of gearing.
But trade bidders often outbid private equity as the synergies of combining the target with existing operations justify a higher take-over premium.
Among those bidding are Blackstone, the US private equity firm, which has teamed up with privately owned Koch Industries.
It will face competition from buy-out firm Apollo, which last year acquired GE's $3.8bn advanced materials business, and which is also preparing its bid for the plastics business.
Separately, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Carlyle Group and Bain Capital are thought to be planning first-round offers.
Strategic players that have signalled an interest include Reliance Industries, India's largest listed group, and Basell, the plastics maker owned by Access Industries of the US and India's Chatterjee Group.
It is not clear whether BASF, one of the largest suppliers of plastic, will participate in the auction after recent remarks from the company suggested the division may be too expensive.
GE Plastics is a global supplier of plastic resins used in automotive, healthcare, consumer electronics, transportation, construction, telecoms and optical media applications.
The division had revenues of $5bn for the first nine months of 2006 and profit of $560m.
‘Saudi SABIC considers bid for GE plastics’
RIYADH: Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world’s largest chemical firm by market value, is considering a bid for the plastics unit of General Electric Co a source familiar with the situation said on Monday.
“We are considering a bid for GE’s plastics unit,” the source, who asked not to be identified, said. “It’s one of many options on offer in the international market which deserve to be examined,” the source added.
SABIC had no official comment. A deal for GE’s plastics unit could be worth up to $12 billion, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
SABIC, whose annual revenues exceed $23 billion, plans to nearly double its production to 100 million tonnes by 2015 by building plants in China, India and Saudi Arabia, and through the purchase of US and European firms.
Last year, SABIC agreed to buy the European bulk chemicals unit of US-based Huntsman Corp for $700 million.
GE said in January it was considering the sale of its plastics division as it focuses on higher-margin growth businesses.
The auction, run by Goldman Sachs is unique in that the bank is prohibiting the four main bidders all private equity groups from teaming up with each other.
Apollo Management, Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co have signed agreements promising not to team up with each other, two sources involved in the process have told Reuters.
But at least three of the four already have partners, according to sources close to the process: Carlyle is linking up with Texas Pacific Group, KKR is teaming up with Bain Capital, and Blackstone plans to partner with Koch Industries.
GE Plastics makes plastics for automotive parts, computer enclosures, compact disks, telecoms equipment and construction materials.
The auction for GE Plastics comes amid concern that profitability of the unit is eroding, and that the price tag on any deal may be shrinking. reuters
GE Announces Sale of
Plastics Business to SABIC for $11.6 Billion; Industrial
Portfolio Transformed for Stronger Growth; Proceeds to Be Used
for Stock Buyback
GE today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell GE Plastics to Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), a globally respected petrochemicals manufacturer, in a deal valued at $11.6 billion in cash plus assumption of liabilities. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals, and is targeted for the third quarter of 2007.
“Over the past five years, we have transformed our portfolio of businesses through smart dispositions and investments in higher-growth, higher technology businesses,” GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said. “This transaction is another important step in the execution of this strategy, which has created a faster-growing, higher-returning set of businesses capable of delivering sustained performance.
“This sale is the right move at the right time for GE shareowners,” Immelt said. “We received a good price from a respected global company in a highly competitive bidding process. We will use the proceeds to fund the stock buyback and strengthen the company through restructuring,” Immelt said.
“SABIC is the right owner for our customers and our employees,” Immelt said. “This transaction will transform the plastics industry by combining SABIC’s low-cost materials position and global reach with GE Plastics’ strong marketing and technology capabilities. SABIC also has a record of investing in acquired businesses and their people. They have committed to support the U.S. and global growth of the Plastics business, and they value the Plastics team and its facilities across the U.S. and the rest of the world.
“This transaction is also good for other GE businesses,” Immelt said. “GE has long-standing relationships with SABIC and others in Saudi Arabia who buy many energy, healthcare, aviation and high-technology products,” Immelt said. “SABIC has committed to strengthen its relationship with GE, which is good for our businesses and employees that make these products.”
GE will receive net after-tax proceeds from the sale of approximately $9 billion. The proceeds will be principally used to re-launch the current stock buyback, increasing the 2007 planned share repurchase from $6 billion to $7-to-8 billion. The sale will generate an approximate after-tax gain of $1.5 billion, which will be used to fund restructuring across GE’s businesses and the share repurchase.
Mohammed Al-Mady, vice chairman and CEO of SABIC, said, “This acquisition of GE Plastics represents another step in SABIC’s growth and diversification to become one of the world’s leading manufacturing companies. GE Plastics is a high-quality organization with a great tradition at GE and it brings people, products and technology of significant value for our customers and our growth. It is a good addition for us and an important business relationship. The deal brings us a new market and 30,000 important customers worldwide.”
GE Plastics is a $6.645 billion global supplier of plastic resins widely used in automotive, healthcare, consumer electronics, transportation, performance packaging, building and construction, telecommunications, and optical media. It is headquartered in Pittsfield, MA. and employs 10,300 people in 60 locations worldwide with outstanding records of quality and environmental performance.
SABIC is?one of the world’s 10 largest petrochemicals manufacturers ranked by market capitalization (currently U.S.$ 80 billion). The company is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene, glycols, methanol, and fertilizers as well as the fourth largest polymer producer. SABIC has record of operating excellence in safety, health and environmental protection for all of its facilities around the world.
Brian Gladden, who currently serves as vice president of GE Plastics’ resin business, will be president and chief executive officer of the new business, which will be renamed upon completion of the transaction. Charlene Begley, currently president and CEO of GE Plastics, will move to a corporate role focused on closing the transaction reporting to CEO Jeff Immelt.
"Brian and his world-class team now have the right resources to truly transform this industry globally,” said GE Vice Chairman Lloyd Trotter, who oversees GE’s Industrial businesses including Plastics. "Plastics has been a great GE business filled with great people who have a long record of innovation, global execution and leadership products. We thank everyone at Plastics for all they have done for GE and wish them the very best in their new company."
Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers served as financial advisors and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as outside legal counsel for GE in this transaction.
GE is Imagination at Work -- a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world’s toughest problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing and media content. GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com.
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is?the largest public company in the Middle East, ranked by market capitalization (currently U.S.$ 80 billion), and one of the world’s 10 largest petrochemicals manufacturers. The company is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene, glycols, methanol and fertilizers as well as the fourth largest polymer producer.
Headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, SABIC was founded in 1976. SABIC’s other global facilities are in Singapore for Asia Pacific and in Sittard, the Netherlands, for Europe. In Europe, the company employs approximately 3,300 people and has three petrochemical manufacturing sites at Geleen (the Netherlands), Teeside (United Kingdom) and at Gelsenkirchen (Germany). The company has dedicated research and technology centers in Riyadh, Geleen in the Netherlands, Houston USA, and Vadodara in India. SABIC has more than 17,000 employees worldwide.
European Commission clears SABIC acquisition of GE plastics
The European Commission announced Friday that it has cleared the proposed $11.6 billion acquisition of the US' GE Plastics by SABIC that was announced on May 21.
After examining the effects of the operation on customers and competitors, the EC concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or a substantial part of it.
The Commission found that the product portfolios of both companies are largely complementary as Riyadh-headquartered SABIC focuses on raw materials and commodity plastics while GE Plastics is specialized in more refined types of plastics, such as engineering plastics. Consequently, the proposed transaction would not lead to significant overlaps in any market, the Commission said.
GE Announces Termination of Contract with Abbott
General Electric announced today that GE and Abbott have agreed to mutually terminate their agreement relating to GE’s acquisition of Abbott’s primary in-vitro and point-of-care diagnostics businesses. GE and Abbott worked diligently to complete the transaction but were unable to reach agreement on final terms and conditions. As a result, they agreed it was in the best interests of both companies to mutually terminate their agreement and discussions.
GEAbbott Announces Termination of Contract with GE
Abbott and GE have mutually agreed to terminate their contract for the sale of Abbott’s core laboratory and point-of-care diagnostics businesses to GE. The two companies were unable to agree on final terms and conditions of the proposed sale.
This has no impact on Abbott’s previously issued earnings-per-share guidance, excluding specified items, for the full-year 2007 or the second quarter. Abbott’s earnings outlook for 2008 also remains unchanged.
2007/7/12 Business Week
Abbott, GE end diagnostics sale
Analysts said Thursday that Abbott Laboratories may have stopped the sale of its diagnostics division to General Electric Co. because of lingering problems with the Food and Drug Administration.
After the markets closed Wednesday, Abbott said the two sides could not agree on the terms of the sale, voiding a deal that was to have been worth $8.13 billion. The sale was announced in January and had received regulatory approval.
Abbott backed its 2007 and 2008 profit forecasts despite the news.
Analysts including Jon Wood of Banc of America said the cancellation may be connected to issues at Abbott's Irving, Texas plant. In March, the FDA warned Abbott that there were problems with testing instruments at the facility.
Banc of America's Glenn Novarro said GE may have wanted to modify the deal.
"In talking to the company, it is our sense that GE asked for additional terms that would have decreased the value of the transaction and these terms were not acceptable to management," he said.
Citigroup analyst Matthew Dodds said the Abbott Park, Ill.-based company is also dealing with greater competition and poor earnings quality.
"While neither company is commenting on the specifics for GE's decision/ability to walk, the fact that Abbott is allowing them to walk without paying a breakup fee strongly suggests GE had a solid case to either renegotiate or terminate the deal," he said.
"Even with the recent sell off and today's expected decline, we still believe the stock is overvalued," he added.
Abbott shares were down 55 cents to $52.66 in early trading Thursday. GE shares added 26 cents, to $38.46.
Dec 10, 2007 Reuters
GE, Novavax team up on pandemic flu vaccine
The GE Healthcare unit of
General Electric Co and Novavax Inc. on Monday said they will
collaborate to develop a system to manufacture pandemic （流行）flu vaccine that will be far
speedier and less costly than standard techniques.
Novavax, a tiny U.S. biotechnology company, is already conducting early stage trials of its H5N1 pandemic flu vaccine, using the company's so-called virus-like particle (VLP) technology to quickly produce the vaccine in a cell culture -- growing cells in an artificial medium. Traditional vaccines, by contrast, typically are manufactured in chicken eggs through a time-consuming process.
For its part, General Electric said it would supply plastic disposable bio-reactors that are precertified as meeting standards imposed by regulators.
GE said its disposable equipment would be a far quicker and less expensive method compared with steel tanks and filtration systems now used to make vaccines, which must be thoroughly cleaned and revalidated every time they are used to make batches of a different medicine.
"Instead of using a large plant with steel tanks and tubing and steel filtration systems, we will provide large plastic disposable bags that serve the same purposes," said Conor McKechnie, a spokesman for GE. "The bags are pre-cleaned and prevalidated."
Should the feared pandemic flu arise, a vaccine could hopefully be developed against its particular strain within 12 weeks after the strain is identified -- without using eggs or live influenza virus -- the companies said in a release.
That would represent "as little as half the time, compared with currently available processes," the companies said.
"With Novavax's VLP and manufacturing platform, the intention is that it could enable commissioning of a new facility from scratch in approximately two-and-a-half years, half the time for a traditional egg-based vaccine production facility," and at possibly 60 percent less cost, the companies said in a release.
McKechnie said GE Healthcare for many years has collaborated with drug companies and vaccine makers, providing the traditional steel equipment.
But he said GE is now also able to offer the disposable plastic substitutes, following its purchase in July of a privately held company in New Jersey that developed the equipment.
No financial terms of the GE/Novavax collaboration were provided.
Many health experts believe the world is overdue for an influenza pandemic. Such global epidemics strike three times in a century, on average, when a new strain of flu emerges that humans have no immunity against.
While it is impossible to predict what strain of the virus will trigger a pandemic, the main suspect is the H5N1 bird flu virus that has killed more than 200 people in various countries since 2003. About 60 percent of those infected have died from the virus, although it has not yet mutated into a form that passes easily among humans.
In the case of a pandemic, which could occur in several waves around the planet, the challenge would be having enough vaccine for the world's 6.7 billion people.
GE and Novavax said as many as 13 billion doses of vaccine could be needed during a pandemic, although the world capacity is at most currently 2.4 billion doses.
February 26, 2008 SABIC
SABIC Innovative Plastics begins producing long glass fiber-reinforced composites in Korea to better serve Asian customers
To provide enhanced service and support for customers in Korea and Asia - the fastest-growing market in the world - SABIC Innovative Plastics today announced the opening of a major production line at its Chung-Ju, Korea facility. The new line will produce LNP* Verton* long glass fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites, which are widely used across the burgeoning automotive, telecommunications, and appliance industries in Asia. The company’s continued investment in new production facilities such as the LNP Verton composite line is designed to provide customers with a local source of innovative product solutions and technological expertise.
By providing customers with local production and resources, SABIC Innovative Plastics aims to slash delivery times for LNP Verton composite grades. Local material production can help customers reduce time to market for a competitive advantage, especially in the fast-moving telecommunications and electronics sectors.
“We are demonstrating our ongoing commitment to faster and more responsive customer service by investing in this new production line,” said Alan Leung, Pacific president for SABIC Innovative Plastics. “It will enable us to quickly supply manufacturers and molders in Korea and Asia with our popular LNP Verton composites. These high-performance materials are in great demand as superior replacements for metal and short-fiber-reinforced plastics. We believe easier access can help customers develop and market innovative applications for greater business success.”
SABIC Innovative Plastics continues to expand its Korean presence to meet the diverse needs of manufacturers and molders. The LNP Verton production line, which will begin operating this month, will run 20 grades of the composites in a variety of resin systems including Polypropylene, Poly Amide and PPA. The new line significantly expands the Chung-Ju facility, which was opened in 1989. The Chung-Ju plant houses a 40,000-ton high-tech manufacturing system, material properties testing equipment, and color-matching equipment to meet customer requirements. The plant develops colors and materials through Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma; the latter is a business improvement methodology that combines tools from Lean Manufacturing for speed and Six Sigma for quality. The result is the highest-quality service with strict quality management (ISO 9002, ISO 14001).
Cost savings and higher performance with LNP Verton composites
LNP Verton thermoplastic injection molding compounds offer high strength and are an excellent metal-replacement option. They feature long glass-fiber reinforcement produced by a unique pultrusion process. Molded Verton components offer exceptional mechanical performance, combining rigidity and outstanding resistance to impact failure. Widely utilized across all industries, long-fiber compounds bring significant cost savings to many material replacement projects.
For metal replacement, Verton can help customers to save on total cost and increase productivity. For example, according to testing done by SABIC Innovative Plastics’ technology team, mobile phone makers could achieve up to a 30 percent cost savings and a 30 percent increase in productivity by replacing the magnesium or other metal used for internal parts of sliding-type mobile phones with LNP Verton composite. Other benefits include weight reduction and design flexibility.
As a replacement for short-fiber-reinforced plastics, LNP Verton grades provide higher impact and dimensional stability, greater strength and creep resistance, and improved surface finish.
About SABIC Innovative Plastics
SABIC Innovative Plastics is a global supplier of plastic resins widely used in automotive, healthcare, consumer electronics, transportation, performance packaging, building and construction, telecommunications and optical media applications. The company manufactures and compounds polycarbonate, ABS, ASA, PPE, PC/ABS, PBT and PEI resins, as well as the LNP* line of high-performance specialty compounds, under such well known brand names as Lexan*, Cycolac*, Geloy*, Noryl*, Cycoloy*, Valox* and Ultem*.
The Specialty Film and Sheet division of SABIC Innovative Plastics manufactures high-performance Lexan* sheet and film products used in thousands of demanding applications worldwide. The dedicated automotive organization is an experienced, worldwide supplier, offering leading plastics solutions for five key automotive segments: body panels and glazing; under the hood applications; component; structures and interiors; and lighting.
SABIC Innovative Plastics is part of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), one of the 10 largest petrochemicals manufacturers in the world.
G.E. Looks to Sell Its Appliances Unit
General Electric is planning to sell its appliances division, one of the longest-running businesses in the conglomerate’s 120-year history, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday.
A sale of the unit could fetch at least $5 billion, this person said. G.E. has hired Goldman Sachs to run the auction. Among the potential bidders are Haier of China, Bosch of Germany and LG of South Korea.
The announcement comes as G.E.’s chief executive, Jeffrey Immelt, tries to fix the troubled conglomerate, which has been hit unexpectedly hard by the credit market’s decline and the slumping economy.
Last month, G.E. reported first-quarter earnings that wildly missed analysts’ estimates and its own projections. The stunning announcement, made more notable by G.E.’s status as a bellwether of the economy, shook Wall Street’s confidence. The company’s shares fell 13 percent that day, its biggest one-day loss in two decades.
The picture Mr. Immelt is painting of the economy augured pessimism for consumer businesses like appliances as well. ‘’We are in the toughest economy since 2001 and the worst housing crisis since the Depression,'’ he told shareholders last month.
Since then, Mr. Immelt has vowed to cut $3 billion in costs at the company.
Though the appliance business comprises a small portion of G.E.’s $173 billion in annual revenue, divorcing it from the company would carry great historical import. Since it began selling appliances in 1907, the division has grown to more than $7 billion in annual revenue as it sells a wide range of products, including refrigerators, microwaves and dishwashers. Among the appliances it has introduced are the room air-conditioner (1930), the combined washer-dryer unit (1954) and the toaster oven (1956).
Yet despite its huge agglomeration of businesses, G.E. has sought to slim down recently, cutting loose even those units that hold sentimental value for the company. Last year, it sold its plastics business - where both Mr. Immelt and his predecessor, John F. Welch Jr., worked early in their careers - to Sabic, the big Saudi Arabian industrials company, for $11.6 billion.
A spokesman for G.E. was unavailable for comment.