GE Seeks To Unload 100 Startups From Portfolio


GE Ventures wants to sell its portfolio of more than 100 startups.

Sources told CNBC the move is is designed to help parent company General Electric pay off some if its $110 million of debt. Late last year the company also sold a majority stake in ServiceMax, which it had acquired in November of 2016 for $915 million.

Launched in 2013 by by Sue Siegel, who is now GE’s chief innovation officer and remains CEO of the ventures arm, GE Ventures is currently in discussions with other venture firms, as well some limited partners who invest in those funds. It has hired investment bank Lazard to manage the process. Lazard declined to comment on the report.

GE Ventures has invested in startups in areas including energy, technology and health care, with a portfolio that boasts Evidation Health, which focuses on clinical studies; Verana Health, a patient-focused life sciences company; and augmented reality software developer Upskill.

While selling an entire venture portfolio won’t be easy, GE is reportedly adamant that it doesn’t want to sell its investments in pieces.

“During this time of transformation for GE, we are evaluating strategic options for GE Ventures to continue delivering returns for our shareholders and partners,” said Megan Newhouse, a GE spokesperson, in a statement. “While we can’t comment specifically on that process, we remain committed to supporting our portfolio companies, business units and partnering with the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The news comes after several executives at GE Ventures have left their positions in recent months, including Lisa Suennen, Noah Lewis and Jessica Zeaske.

Although the company is carrying heavy debt, GE continues to spend cash during what CEO Larry Culp is calling a multiyear turnaround. GE Capital reduced its liabilities in the first quarter, completing $1.1 billion in asset reductions in the period, but the company’s stock is down 23 percent over the past 12 months.


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