General Electric took another step forward in its plan to split up its businesses among a trio of independent, publicly traded companies. It has set out a road map into early 2024 and announced the brand names of its new scions focused on medical products, aviation and energy.
In a decision that almost assuredly involved the transfer of large sums of money to market research professionals, GE Healthcare will be rechristened GE HealthCare, retaining the company’s world-famous badge and monogram while splitting the difference on the debate over whether healthcare should be written as one word or two. The formerly blue logo will also receive a new coat of paint, dubbed “compassion purple.”
In a video previewing the new labels, Chairman and CEO Larry Culp said: “These companies built the brand over 130 years, going back to Edison; that in its own right is unique and valuable.” Culp estimated the global value of the GE name sits at around $20 billion.
The move enables “each of the three companies to move forward and leverage the heritage that the brand represents, but also as a springboard for its own independent future success,” Culp said. “Coupled with the extensive installed bases that we have in each of the businesses, I think keeping the brand name really provides us with important brand continuity as we move forward.”
The company said it plans to execute its tax-free healthcare spinoff in early 2023 if all goes well, after which GE HealthCare—currently an $18 billion division, with over 4 million devices in use worldwide and ties to more than 2 billion patient exams per year—will be traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “GEHC.” It will be led by Peter Arduini, who took on the role of CEO and president of the healthcare division at the start this year.
After that launch, GE plans to package up its portfolio of wind turbines, gas power and digital grid solutions as GE Vernova, a renewable energy player slated to make its independent market debut in early 2024. At that time, the remaining businesses in jet engines and defense programs will continue on as GE Aerospace—which will also officially hold on to the GE trademark and license it to the other outfits.
“Over the course of the last six months, we engaged in a thorough, customer-led process to understand the intrinsic value of the GE brand for our planned future companies,” said GE Chief Marketing Officer Linda Boff.
“Based on data and analysis drawn from thousands of conversations, it became clear that the GE name and our century-plus-old monogram represent a legacy of innovation, symbol of trust by global customers, pride for our team and a talent magnet for future leaders,” Boff added.
GE Healthcare previously slimmed down its operations in early 2020 with the sale of its biopharma business to Danaher—a $21.4 billion trade that resulted in Cytiva, provider of biomanufacturing hardware for drug and diagnostics development as well as cell and gene therapy production.
But since then, GE Healthcare added to its holdings with the $1.45 billion purchase of ultrasound developer BK Medical. Closed in December 2021, the deal aims to expand the company’s diagnostic sensor franchise from the exam room into the operating room to provide surgeons with real-time views under the skin during procedures.
It also picked up Zionexa, a small French developer of a molecular imaging agent that obtained an FDA approval in 2020 as the first PET contrast dye specifically indicated for patients with recurrent or metastatic breast cancer.
The Cerianna (fluoroestradiol F-18) injection helps highlight estrogen receptor-positive tumors in patients whose breast cancer has returned or spread. It’s a tool GE Healthcare has big commercial plans for, with the stated goal of making Cerianna available to at least three-quarters of all patients with metastatic breast cancer in the U.S. by 2023.
By Conor Hale
The new company will have four complementary businesses: Perfumery & Beauty, Food & Beverage/Taste & Beyond, Health, Nutrition & Care and Animal Nutrition & Health, each with strong market positions and expertise to address emerging consumer trends. The businesses will also prioritize environmental sustainability, health and well-being.
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