GE's latest energy play: Lufkin

General Electric to pay $33 billion for oilfield equipment maker Lufkin. General Electric hopes to cash in on energy boom with purchase of Lufkin and other energy-equipment manufacturers.  

By , AP Energy Writer

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    General Electric Co Chief Executive Jeff Immelt speaks with the media in New Delhi in February. General Electric, which installed India's first hydro power plant in 1902, is looking to strengthen its focus on energy with its purchase of mid-sized companies such as oil equipment manufacturer Lufkin
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General Electric Co. has agreed to buy the oilfield equipment maker Lufkin Industries Inc. for $3 billion, furthering an effort by GE to grow its oil and gas operations.

GE said Monday it would pay Lufkin shareholders $88.50 per share in the all-cash deal, a 38 percent premium over Lufkin's closing price on Friday of $63.93.

With 33.1 million Lufkin shares outstanding, that would value Lufkin at about $3 billion. The companies valued the deal at $3.3 billion.

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CEO Jeff Immelt is in the process of transforming GE from a sprawling conglomerate to one that is more tightly focused on providing services and equipment to industrial customers. The company has shed divisions such as NBC Universal and is shrinking its banking operations.

At the same time, Immelt indicated the company would spend some of its enormous cash balance on mid-sized companies that fit well into what the company already does. GE makes aircraft engines, natural gas-fired turbines and generators, wind turbines, medical devices and locomotives.

GE is putting particular focus on oil and gas, hoping to capitalize on the boom in extracting oil from difficult places, such as deep offshore, shale formations under several U.S. states, or older depleting oil fields. GE bought Wellstream, a maker of flexible pipes for gathering oil undersea, in 2010, and a division of the John Wood Group, a maker of pumps and control systems, in 2011.

Lufkin, based in Lufkin, Texas, makes pumping equipment that helps drillers extract more oil out of older fields.

GE's oil and gas related revenue has tripled since 2005, to $15 billion.

Lufkin shares climbed $23.86, or 37.3 percent, to $87.79 in premarket trading. GE shares edged up 11 cents to $23.04 with 90 minutes ahead of the market opening.

Energy: Energy is one sector General Electric is focusing on as the sprawling conglomerate returns to its industrial roots.

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