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UPDATE 2-GE explores public offering, hybrid deals in strategic review - WSJ

(Adds background on businesses, updates shares)

April 12 (Reuters) - General Electric Co is exploring a public offering for one of its divisions and discussing hybrid deals with public companies to combine assets, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The hybrid deals would leave GE shareholders with stakes in multiple public companies, the report https://www.wsj.com/articles/ge-explores-hybrid-deals-spinoffs-in-strategic-revi e w - 1 5 2 3 5 2 5 4 0 0 said. The company's shares were up about 1.2 percent at $13.12 in premarket trading.

The possibilities include spinning off a division to investors or combining a division with a smaller public company in a way that avoids a big tax bill.

The report said GE's transportation business, which makes diesel freight locomotives, is unlikely to be sold now, and the company is preparing of an initial public offering or spinoff of the division.

Boston-based GE's transportation business had sales of about $4.18 billion in 2017.

After divesting most if its finance arm, GE Capital, in 2015, the company is paring the business further and could even consider selling it off, the Wall Street Journal said.

GE Capital has weighed on the company's financial performance, as the unit in January set aside $15 billion in reserves over seven years related to its long-term care insurance portfolio.

GE Chief Executive John Flannery has said he is considering separate structures for the company's core divisions - healthcare, aviation and power, and last year indicated that the company would shed more than $20 billion of non-core assets.

The company said in February it had a "line of sight" on the first $4 billion in asset sales, and last week announced plans to sell its information technology business to private equity firm Veritas Capital for $1.05 billion in cash.

GE plans to provide restated results for 2016 and 2017 by April 13 to reflect a new accounting standard, and will report first-quarter results on April 20.

GE declined to comment on the report. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)