GE sells biopharma business to Danaher for $21.4B, reconsiders healthcare IPO

General Electric sold its biopharmaceutical business to Danaher Corp. for $21.4 billion, the company announced Feb. 25.

GE's biopharma business, which provides tools to support biopharmaceutical research and development, brought in roughly $3 billion in revenue in 2018. The company divested this unit to "reduce leverage and strengthen [its] balance sheet," Lawrence Culp Jr., GE chairman and CEO, said in a press release. "We are retaining full flexibility for growth and strategic optionality with one of the world’s leading healthcare companies," he said.

Mr. Culp told CNBC the Danaher sale means GE will re-evaluate the planned spinoff of its healthcare business. "We are focused on completing the carve out [of the biopharma business] — which is 15 percent of the $20 billion healthcare segment — and focused on managing the remaining core business," he said. "An IPO [for GE Healthcare] in 2019 looks unlikely at this point." 

GE confidentially filed an IPO in December to make its healthcare unit a standalone enterprise in June 2019. It had planned to spin off its healthcare unit to focus on aviation, power and renewable energy. The healthcare unit brought in $19 billion in revenue in 2018 and $3.4 billion in profit, according to CNBC.

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