GE Sheds Remaining Stake in Penske

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Industrial titan General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) announced Thursday morning that it had sold its remaining 15.5% stake in Penske Truck Leasing, a division of Penske Automotive Group Inc. (NYSE: PAG), for approximately $674 million. Penske Automotive purchased about 35% of GE’s stake, and a U.S. subsidiary of Mitsui purchased the rest.

GE said the sale was “one of the last pieces” of the former GE Capital businesses remaining with the company and that GE has now shed more than $201 billion in assets since beginning a reversion to its industrial roots.

Penske Truck Leasing was formed in 1988 through a combination of businesses within GE and Penske Automotive.

Following today’s announcement, Penske Truck Leasing is 41.1% owned by Penske Corp., 28.9% by Penske Automotive and 30% by Mitsui.

GE plans to retain a limited number of its former GE Capital businesses. According to the company’s annual report filed in February of this year, the aircraft leasing business — GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) — the Energy Financial Services and Industrial Finance groups will be retained because they relate to GE’s core industrial operations. These vertical businesses generated $1.89 billion of GE’s 2016 total $11.7 billion operating earnings in its Industrial division.

Since 2014, GE has reduced GE Capital’s former assets from $500 billion to $183 billion, as of December 2016. In June, GE’s designation as a nonbank systemically important financial institution (SIFI) was rescinded by the federal government.

GE stock traded down 3.2% in the noon hour Thursday to $24.12, a new 52-week low, after declaring its next quarterly dividend payment of $0.24 per share. The stock’s 52-week high is $32.38, and the 12-month consensus price target is $29.31.

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