NEW YORK—Trian Fund Management is now one of General Electric’s biggest shareholders after the firm led by activist investor Nelson Peltz placed its largest bet to date, about $2.5 billion, as it positions itself to play a role in the transformation of the industrial conglomerate.
General Electric Co. has been making a push to focus on industrial businesses _ making large, complicated equipment for other companies _ and shrinking its other businesses. It has been selling its lending and finance units, exiting a banking sector with stricter oversight.
Trian acquired 98.5 million shares, or about one per cent of the Fairfield, Connecticut, company. The fund’s executives, Peltz and Ed Garden, have a longstanding relationship with GE CEO Jeff Immelt.
“GE is executing a bold transformation that will generate attractive stockholder returns in the years ahead as the company reshapes its portfolio,” Trian said in a statement.
The investor has not asked GE for board representation.
Immelt, meanwhile, says GE is looking forward to constructive dialogue with Trian as it moves ahead with its transformation.