GE Hunts for $3.5bn in IPO

Investigation reveals that General Electric Company plans to hunt for as much as $3.5bn in the initial public offering of its North American consumer-lending business, now called Synchrony Financial. GE, which filed for an IPO of the business, will seek a valuation of $20bn and $25bn in the sale.

While the size of the deal may change based on investor demand for the shares, at $3.5bn the IPO would be the largest by a United States company since Facebook Incorporated raised $16bn in May 2012.

GE is seeking a reasonable valuation — in line with that fetched by Discover Financial Services — for a business with relatively slow earnings growth, said Jeff Davis, managing director for the financial-institutions group at advisory firm Mercer Capital in Nashville, Tennessee. Discover Financial currently trades for about 11.6 times earnings.