G.E. Shopping Its Security Unit

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General Electric (GE) is selling its security unit, looking for buyers despite the division’s apparently strong growth.

The unit, which builds things like surveillance cameras and alarms, could fetch some $2 billion.

Bloomberg: GE Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt built the security division through acquisitions starting in 2002. GE Security projected $3 billion in sales by 2011, up from about $1.8 billion in 2007, Dean Seavers, the unit’s chief executive officer, said in an interview in September 2008.

Immelt has been putting greater emphasis on non-finance businesses while shrinking the GE Capital arm this year. Investors concerned that the finance unit may encounter losses have helped erode GE’s market value by half in a year.

Since 2003, Immelt has gotten rid of more than $50 billion in businesses and acquired more than $100 billion, eliminating divisions like plastics and adding to health care. Before the credit crisis began in 2007, he sold the U.S. subprime-mortgage business, which catered to the least-creditworthy borrowers. Early in his tenure, he shed all of GE’s insurance divisions. 

The New York Times confirmed that JPMorgan was helping with the sale, and possible acquirers include Tyco and UTC.

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