GE credit card unit Synchrony Financial prices IPO at $23 per share

The logo of U.S. conglomerate General Electric is pictured at the company's site in Belfort, April 27, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

(Reuters) - General Electric Co's GE.N credit card unit, Synchrony Financial SYF.N, raised $2.88 billion in the biggest initial public offering so far this year, the company said on Wednesday.

The company’s offering of 125 million shares was priced at $23 per share, at the low end of the price range of $23 to $26 per share, Synchrony said in a statement.

At that price, the company was valued at $19.1 billion. (

The spin-off is a key part of GE Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt’s plan to boost GE’s earnings contribution from its industrials businesses to 75 percent by 2016, from 55 percent last year.

Synchrony's offering surpassed that of Ally Financial Inc ALLY.N, which raised $2.4 billion in April.

Synchrony, which provides private label credit cards, dual cards and other credit products to partners including Wal-Mart Stores Inc WMT.N, Lowe's Co Inc LOW.N, Inc AMZN.O, Sam's Club, GAP Inc GPS.N and J C Penney Co Inc JCP.N, generated two-thirds of its $9.42 billion revenue last year from its retail card business.

The company plans to use the proceeds from the offering to repay debt, to increase capital and to invest in liquid assets, it said.

Goldman Sachs & Co, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank Securities were the lead underwriters of the offering.

Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Diane Craft