General Electric Co. said Tuesday it plans to buy a 90 percent stake in French electrical equipment developer Converteam in a deal GE values at $3.2 billion.
Converteam designs high-efficiency systems that reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It serves a variety of industries including offshore and onshore oil and gas, power generation, wind and solar energy.. GE says said it will plans to use Converteam's expertise to serve high-growth regions in Brazil, Russia, China, India and the Middle East.
GE said its energy business will purchase the stake from a controlling group of shareholders that includes Barclays Private Equity and LBO France. It plans to buy the remaining 10 percent from Converteam's senior management during the next two to five years for an amount that will depend on factors such as the time of sale and business performance.
GE said it doesn't expect to pay more than $480 million for that remaining stake.
The deal for the 90 percent stake is expected to close during the third quarter. It is the latest of $11 billion in acquisitions by GE. GE also has acquired Dresser Inc., Wellstream Holdings, Lineage Power Holdings and Well Support in the past six months.
Converteam, based in Massy, France, employs 5,300 people and operates in 80 countries. It posted pre-tax earnings of $239 million in 2010.
GE shares slipped 3 cents to $19.72 in pre-market trading.
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