GE to spin off its healthcare unit

General Electric this week spun off its healthcare business as a separate company, a move that could bolster what has been a bright spot in GE’s business portfolio. 

The company said Kieran Murphy, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, will continue to lead GE Healthcare as the standalone company.

“GE Healthcare’s vision is to drive more individualized, precise and effective patient outcomes,” Murphy said in a statement.

As he sees it, the independence will enable greater flexibility and opportunities for growth and innovation.

“We will build on strong customer demand for integrated precision health solutions and great technology with digital and analytics capabilities as we enter our next chapter,” Murphy added

The healthcare unit recorded more than $19 billion in revenue in 2017 and posted 5 percent revenue growth and 9 percent segment profit growth in the same year. The business provides medical imaging, monitoring, bio-manufacturing and cell therapy technology, leveraging artificial intelligence and data analytics.

It serves customers in 150 countries around the world. 

GE expects to generate cash from the disposition of approximately 20 percent of its interest in the healthcare business and to distribute the remaining 80 percent to GE shareholders through a tax-free distribution over the next 12 to 18 months.

GE chairman and CEO John Flannery stated in a statement that GE would focus on aviation, power and renewable energy and create a “simpler, stronger, leading high-tech industrial company.” GE plans to reduce debt by approximately $25 billion by 2020 while maintaining more than $15 billion of cash on the balance sheet, he added.  

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