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GE and Fanuc end their 23-year joint venture

18 August, 2009

GE and Fanuc have agreed to dissolve their GE Fanuc Automation joint venture, allowing each company to refocus its investments to expand its existing businesses and to pursue its core expertise.

Under the terms of the agreement, GE will keep the global software, services, embedded systems and control systems businesses, and will be known as GE Intelligent Platforms. Fanuc will keep the global CNC business. The two companies expect the transaction to be completed by the end of 2009, subject to satisfactory closing conditions.

The US-Japanese 50:50 joint venture, established in 1986, grew to become a leading global supplier of industrial technologies including automation hardware and software, services, embedded computing systems, and CNC (computer numerical control) products. In 2007, the automation, CNC and embedded systems operations were merged and renamed as GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms.

“Our joint venture has achieved great success toward its original mission, which was to co-operate on the global growth and technical development of the PLC and CNC business,” says Fanuc`s honorary chairman, Dr Seiuemon Inaba. “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,” he adds, “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.”

“GE could not have asked for better partners than Dr Inaba and Fanuc,” comments Maryrose Sylvester, CEO of GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, who will lead the new GE Intelligent Platforms business. “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.”

“Our top priority is a smooth completion of transition and continuity for all customers, business partners and employees,” Sylvester says. “We are committed to delivering our customer commitments in every segment of our business.”

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