NEW YORK - Trian Fund Management is now one of General Electric's (GE) 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 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 the banking sector that has stricter oversight.
Trian acquired 98.5 million shares, or about 1 percent 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.
General Electric shares rose 90 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $26.38 as of 8:45 a.m. ET in premarket trading Monday morning.