GE, Synchrony Financial Lower Sights for Thursday IPO

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General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) spinoff Synchrony Financial priced its initial public offering of 125 million shares at $23 at the bottom of the expected range of $23 to $26 a share. At that price gross proceeds will total about $2.8 billion and the new company will have a market cap of around $19 billion.

Shares will begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SYF.

Joint book-running managers are Goldman, Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank Securities. The underwriters have an option on an additional 18.75 million shares.

The IPO is part of CEO Jeff Immelt’s strategy to return the company to its industrial roots and minimize its long dependence on financial profits. The focus of Immelt’s strategy is on big industrial products like jet engines, locomotives, and turbines. GE agreed recently to pay $17 billion for the power and grid business of France’s Alstom SA to further Immelt’s strategy. If the deal is concluded it will be the largest acquisition in GE’s history.

The recent Farnborough Airshow was another huge success for GE and Immelt. The company took orders for $36 billion in new jet engines.

GE will hold onto 85% of Synchrony stock until late next year, when the company is expected to conduct a tax-free distribution of the remaining shares to its stockholders.

The Synchrony IPO is the largest of the 22 IPOs on tap for this week.

And while the Synchrony IPO is big, it is smaller than the April IPO of Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) that raised $2.6 billion for the former General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) financing subsidiary, GMAC. Both are dwarfed by the coming IPO of China’s Alibaba which is expected to raise a cool $20 billion making it the largest U.S. IPO ever.

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