Rumors swirl around GEC's intentions

February 17, 1999

Picker International parent General Electric Company continues to provide ample grist for the rumor mill of U.K. newspapers. An article in the Jan. 31 edition of The Sunday Times identified several medical imaging companies that the London

Picker International parent General Electric Company continues to provide ample grist for the rumor mill of U.K. newspapers. An article in the Jan. 31 edition of TheSunday Times identified several medical imaging companies that the London firm is said to be examining as acquisition candidates.

GEC is mulling the disposition of a $4.5 billion cash windfall the company will earn following the sale of its Marconi Electronics Systems defense business to British Aerospace. In an interview with The Observer on Jan. 24, GEC chairman George Simpson speculated that the company could buy the medical electronics divisions of either Siemens or Philips, a prospect that prompted denials from both firms (SCAN 2/3/99).

GEC was linked to three new prospective acquisition candidates in the Sunday Times article. One of those is a European PACS company, while another is a U.S. ultrasound firm. The third enterprise in which GEC is reportedly interested is a mid-level Japanese multimodality vendor. At least one of the three companies strongly denied that it would sell out to GEC, however.