GE spinoff Synchrony flat in stock market debut

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Synchrony Financial are nearly flat in their debut Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

The credit card company raised $2.875 billion, selling 125 million shares at $23 per share.

That makes it the largest initial public offerings of the year so far, according to data provider Dealogic.

The Stamford, Connecticut, company is a spinoff of conglomerate General Electric Co. Following the IPO, GE will own 84.9 percent of Synchrony's common stock.

The spinoff is part of GE's plan to shrink its financial unit GE Capital. GE has been focusing more on industrial products like jet engines, medical equipment and oil and gas drilling equipment.

The IPO "furthers our goal to position GE Capital as a smaller, safer specialty finance leader," said CEO Jeff Immelt.

Synchrony provides store credit cards for retailers, such as Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney and It also operates an online bank, which it is expanding to increase deposits and use the money to fund its credit business.

Shares of Synchrony, which are trading on the NYSE under the symbol "SYF," were unchanged at $23 in afternoon trading after rising to $24 earlier.

At least eight other companies began trading Thursday after launching IPOs, including drugmaker Catalent, deep-water rig owner Transocean Partners and health care account manager HealthEquity

Shares of Catalent Inc., which are trading on the NYSE under the symbol "CTLT," fell 50 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $20 in afternoon trading Thursday. Shares of Transocean Partners LLC, which is trading on the NYSE under the symbol "RIGP," jumped $2, or 9 percent, to $24. And shares of HealthEquity Inc. soared $3.76, or 26.9 percent, to $17.76 on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol "HQY."