Report: GE to spin off consumer finance business

A published report says General Electric plans to spin off the consumer lending business of its finance arm with an initial public offering of stock that could come early next year.

The Wall Street Journal also says the Fairfield, Conn., conglomerate is considering smaller spinoffs or asset sales, but it has started preliminary work on the IPO. The paper cites unnamed sources it says are familiar with the matter.

The consumer finance business provides store credit cards for retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Aside from its finance business, GE sells a wide variety of industrial equipment and appliances around the world. This includes jet engines, medical diagnostic equipment, oil and gas drilling equipment and washing machines.

GE representatives did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.