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GE Files IPO for North America Finance Unit to Cut Risks

General Electric Co. filed for an initial public offering of its North American consumer lending unit as part of Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt’s effort to reduce credit risks and focus on industrial businesses.

The spinoff of Synchrony Financial, as the unit is now called, will help Immelt reach a goal of reducing GE’s dependence on finance to 30 percent of earnings while GE Capital sheds a finance unit that’s not linked to products GE sells, including jet engines and gas turbines.