General Electric [GE] on Monday announced plans to split into three separate companies starting in two years with the $22 billion aviation business retaining the legacy parent name, allowing it to better focus on its commercial and military aircraft engine development and production programs.
H. Lawrence Culp, chairman and CEO of GE, said the pending breakup is a “defining moment” for the $72 billion multi-industrial company that has a legacy dating back 125 years. Culp will continue to lead the pared down GE after the Healthcare business is spun-off in early 2023 and the consolidated Renewable Energy and Power company is spun-off in early 2024.
Each business will be able to tailor its capital structures and capital allocation frameworks to drive long-term value, Culp said.
John Slattery, president and CEO of GE Aviation, will continue to lead the business until Culp assumes control in early 2024.
In the long-term, Culp said the forecast is for GE Aviation to grow in the low to mid-single digits with operating margin in the high-teens to 20 percent range. Free cash flow conversion will exceed 90 percent, he said.
GE Aviation has an installed base of more than 37,000 commercial aircraft engines and more than 26,000 military aircraft engines. For the U.S. military, some of the aircraft its engines power includes the F/A-18E/F and F-15EX fighters, and the T-7A trainer, UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-53K helicopters, the C-5 transport, and a number of international fighters, helicopters and transports.
“Our engine value proposition across efficiency, reliability and life-cycle economics is the most competitive and innovative in the industry,” Culp said during an investor presentation. “We have more than 37,000 commercial engines and over 60 percent haven’t seen their second shop visit. A tremendous opportunity as the market recovers.”
Culp also said that the “vast global installed base” of aircraft engines “keeps us close to our customers and enables us to increase fuel and efficiency.”
The engine business has been focused on lean operations and lowering its costs structure as it emerges from the global pandemic, Culp said.
Through the first three quarters of 2021, GE Aviation has generated $15.2 billion in sales, down 6 percent from a year ago while operating profits have more than doubled to $1.7 billion. Orders are up more than 17 percent to $17.9 billion.