GE Capital -- the financial-services unit of the General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) -- may be in for a round of slicing and dicing by its corporate parent, according to an account appearing online in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday night.
Any major move involving GE Capital would be significant because the unit has accounted for 31.0 percent, 31.0 percent, and 31.7 percent of GE's consolidated revenue in 2011, 2010, and 2009, respectively, per the company's U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K filed Feb. 24.
Since the global financial crisis exploded in 2007, GE has attempted to constrain GE Capital's effect on the company, in part by allowing its loan portfolio to shrink and in part by selling assets, as reported by the Journal.
Certain GE executives are now considering whether to accelerate this process -- possibly by selling businesses in GE Capital's consumer-finance portfolio, which encompasses private-label credit cards and showroom financing -- the Journal said, citing three people familiar with the company's thinking.
These cuts could shrink the size of GE Capital's loan portfolio by as much as 16 percent, the Journal reported.
The proposed round of slicing and dicing will get a hearing this week when GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt holds his annual meeting to lay out strategy for the coming three years, the Journal said.
GE Capital Chairman Mike Neal answered questions about the possibility of selling the private-label credit-card business last week, according to the Journal.
It is a better business today than it has ever been in the history of the company, and I suspect we have a lot of optionality there, Neal said. Is it severable? Sure. Everything is.