GE moves closer to IPO of GE Capital

|By:, SA News Editor

GE is expected to file for the IPO of its consumer finance unit - GE Capital - in the next two months, reports the FT, and has hired Goldman and JPMorgan to lead the push.

The unit could be valued at more than $20B and the sale of about 20% means a $4B listing and the largest IPO since Facebook raised $16.1B in May 2012. The remainder of the unit would be spun off to GE shareholders in 2015.

Back in the day, cynics could call GE a bank that happened to sell aircraft parts and such, but no more. The exit from consumer finance would be the completion of a post-crisis restructuring plan to return to the company's manufacturing roots.

The GE Capital sale would be the latest in a fast line of consumer finance offerings, including the IPOs of Santander Consumer U.S. and Springleaf Financial. "[It's] a good time to exit this business," said GE Capital chief Keith Sherin recently. "The capital markets are pretty strong."