GE’s Big Plan For The Future: Divide And Conquer

General Electric has big plans for the future. In recent years, the struggling company has poured substantial effort and funding into turning around its business, making major moves with an eye toward regaining its position at the top of the market. 2021 was a year of tough decisions, resulting in divestments and an early November announcement that the once-venerable corporation would divide into three public companies focused on aviation, healthcare, and energy. GE Healthcare is first on the list, slated for a 2023 spinoff, and the company is working hard to set it up for a successful launch.

In late December, the company announced the completed acquisition of Boston and Copenhagen-based BK Medical (BK) from Altaris Capital Partners via a cash transaction valued at $1.45 billion. The buyout, originally announced in September 2021, brings BK’s market-leading expertise in intraoperative imaging and surgical navigation into GE’s portfolio. BK’s technology and personnel will be incorporated into GE Healthcare’s operations, enhancing its capabilities in patient monitoring, medical imaging, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies. GE’s Healthcare segment generated revenue of $4.3 billion in Q3 FY2021.

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BK employs more than 650 people in developing and producing a product line utilized across a wide range of medical specialties, including general surgery, robotic-assisted surgery, neurosurgery, and urology. Its highly advanced ultrasound technology enables surgeons to visualize organs in real-time during surgery, improving the safety and effectiveness of procedures and enhancing patient outcomes.

The latest acquisition is part of a broader strategy to revive GE’s profitability, with a goal of focusing its efforts and positioning the new business entities to take better advantage of growth opportunities brought about by newfound flexibility. The healthcare spinoff will be led by Peter Arduini, who was selected to become CEO of the segment beginning in January 2021.

Spinoffs have a long history of enhancing growth and innovation, and GE’s plan to reinvent itself into three new companies is the latest iteration of this well-known tactic. Whether or not its reincarnations will be successful remains to be seen, but by turning its focus onto what it does best, the company is giving its all to taking its 130-year history of innovation and entrepreneurship into the future.