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GE Surges on Plan to Split Into Three Firms, Move to Cut Debt

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By Dhirendra Tripathi

Investing.com – General Electric stock (NYSE:GE) soared more than 7% in Tuesday’s premarket trading as the company announced it will split into three separate companies, the final step in the unwinding of what was once the world's most famous conglomerate.

The company plans to spin off its healthcare business in early 2023 and its renewable energy and power company in early 2024, leaving the remaining company focused overwhelmingly on aviation. GE plans to keep around 20% in the healthcare business.

Through the transition, GE said it will be able to monetize its stakes in Baker Hughes and airplane leasing company AerCap (NYSE:AER) that will help repay debt. The company said it will have reduced its debt by $75 billion from its 2018 peak by the end of 2021.

The company is aiming for all three units to have investment grade debt ratings. It said it's on course to reduce debt to 2.5 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by the end of this year, which is the rough rule of thumb for corporate investment grade debt.

GE said it will incur one-time separation costs of around $2 billion and tax costs of less than $0.5 billion.

Peter Arduini will take over as President and CEO of GE Healthcare on January 1. Scott Strazik will be the CEO of the combined power and digital business, while John Slattery continues as CEO of aviation.

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