GE, Fanuc Agree to Split

Aug. 19, 2009
Fanuc to consolidate CNC portfolio; GE takes industrial automation, process control systems, software, embedded computing

General Electric Corp. and FANUC Ltd. have agreed to dissolve their 23-year-old joint venture, GE Fanuc Automation Corp. In a statement the two companies announced their decision will allow both companies to refocus their investments in existing businesses, and for each to pursue its “respective core industry expertise.”

According to their agreement, GE will retain the venture’s worldwide assets relating to software, services, embedded systems, and control systems businesses globally. This new company will be known as GE Intelligent Platforms.

FANUC will retain the joint venture’s CNC business.

The venture will be dissolved by the end of this year, subject to satisfactory customary closing conditions. No cost for the transaction has been stated.

GE Fanuc Automation supplies hardware and software, services, automation, embedded computing systems, and CNC products. Its customer base covers the energy, water, consumer packaged goods, government, defense, and telecommunications markets.

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms CEO Maryrose Sylvester, who will head the new GE Intelligent Platforms unit, stated: “GE is proud of what our companies have achieved together - both the industry expertise and success across our product portfolios. For GE, this change will mean a continued, intense focus on serving our customers around the world while continuing to invest in significant growth platforms like process control systems, enterprise and automation software and embedded computing as we continue to build further expertise around the GE vertical infrastructure segments."

She said the new company’s top priority is to complete the transition smoothly, and that GE is committed to delivering on its customer commitments.

FANUC Honorary Chairman Dr. Seiuemon Inaba said, “Our joint venture has achieved great success toward its original mission, which was to cooperate on the global growth and technical development of the PLC and CNC business. Over this time period, markets and opportunities also have changed dramatically, and both companies further expanded into adjacent segments. Today’s market conditions are such that it’s imperative we pursue these expanded opportunities, and while we have achieved great things together, it’s in both our best interests that we focus our efforts on industry opportunities unique to our respective companies and that will deliver greater benefits to both our companies.”