GE says not seeking sovereign-wealth investment

November 21, 2008
Singapore Democrats

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Reuters

General Electric Co said on Thursday it has no intention of raising additional capital from sovereign-wealth funds.

The company is in talks with Asian investors about joint ventures similar to one formed earlier this year with Abu Dhabi investment agency Mubadala Development Co, said GE spokesman Russell Wilkerson.

“With the success of our existing global partnerships, we are always talking to a variety of funds and third parties about new opportunities,” Wilkerson said in an email. “We are not talking with any sovereign wealth funds or other global investment funds about a capital investment in the company.”

An earlier report in the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper said the company was in talks with Singapore’s Temasek and GIC, as well as China’s CIC and Safe, about capital investment in GE and joint ventures.

GE shares fell $1.14 cents to $13.31, a 12-year low, in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

GE and Mubadala in July formed an $8 billion joint venture to provide commercial finance in the Middle East and Africa.

GE, which has seen its shares drop more than 60 percent so far this year amid troubles at its GE Capital finance arm, is not looking to raise additional capital as it did with a $15 billion stock sale in October that included $3 billion of preferred shares sold to billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company, which has businesses ranging from jet engines to real estate to the NBC Universal media business, last week received the backing of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp for up to $139 billion of GE Capital debt, and has also signed on to a U.S. program to buy commercial paper.

http://www.reuters.com/article/mergersNews/idUSN2040004120081120