GE sees more opportunities for acquisitions: exec

BOSTON Wed Oct 6, 2010 11:10am EDT

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BOSTON (Reuters) - General Electric Co (GE.N) sees opportunity for more acquisitions in sectors including energy, healthcare and financial services, a vice chairman at the largest U.S. conglomerate said on Wednesday.

"GE is playing offense, not just in energy but in financial services and in our other businesses," said John Krenicki, who also serves as chief executive of the company's energy infrastructure division. "The energy business is a vast business, we've got lots of options and our team can move quickly."

GE on Wednesday said it would pay $3 billion for Dresser Inc, a maker of big gas engines, and that it bought a $1.6 billion portfolio of retail credit card assets from Citigroup Inc (C.N).

He declined in an interview to comment further on British oilfield services company Wellstream Holdings WSML.L rejection of a $1.2 billion (755 million pound) takeover approach, which GE also disclosed on Wednesday.

The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company is not just allocating cash to takeovers, Krenicki noted, pointing out that the company is hiking its dividend by 20 percent and has resumed buying back its shares.

"We've also been investor-friendly with the dividend and buyback, we're thinking about our investors," Krenicki said.

GE plans to focus its deal-making on industries where the company already has a presence and is not looking to break into new sectors, Krenicki said.

"We're not branching out into things that we don't understand or don't know," Krenicki said. "We're prudent with our shareholders' money."

(Reporting by Scott Malone, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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