General Electric and Capital One have submitted bids for ING’s U.S. online banking operations in a deal worth about $9 billion, Bloomberg reports.
General Electric continued on its M&A warpath with a $3.2 billion agreement to acquire France’s Coverteam, a maker of automation systems used in the oil and gas sector, marking the latest in a series of deals in the energy industry. But, after some $11 billion in acquisitions in the energy sector over the past six months, GE plans to slow its pace of dealmaking, a top executive said.
Comcast’s deal to buy a majority stake in NBC Universal from General Electric should put to rest fears at the cable operator that King Content will kill its business. But even if it becomes a thoroughfare of programming genius, the new venture will still have to convince a skeptical marketplace. The train wreck of Time Warner-AOL threw the idea of new media into financial purgatory.
Speaking in New Delhi, General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt said “Discussions are ongoing whether it is an IPO or another partnership,” in response to a question on whether GE was talking to Comcast to sell a stake in the fourth-placed TV network and movie studio. With Vivendi possibly just a couple weeks away from unloading its 20 percent stake in the NBC venture, and all the talk this week about Comcast gathering coins to add the content trove to its cable mix, it might seem as if Immelt is trying to conjure something like a rabbit from a hat – or a peacock from a beret.
If you needed a sign that banks are becoming more confident on the finance biz, take a look at what analysts are saying about General Electric this morning. The clouds that have hung over the industrial conglomerate’s finance arm through the financial crisis, are starting to break up, say Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. GE’s stock put on 4 percent on the comments before the market opened.