GE to merge all healthcare units into Wipro JV

To take better advantage of India's fast-growing healthcare sector and accelerate growth of its $17-billion global healthcare business, GE Healthcare, a part of US conglomerate General Electric, on Friday said it will integrate all its GE Healthcare units in India and South Asia with Wipro GE Healthcare, a joint venture with IT major Wipro.

GE Healthcare's life sciences, medical diagnostics business, and X-ray manufacturing plants will be brought under Wipro GE Healthcare, the two companies said. The companies said the move would help GE achieve effective management, resource mobilisation and higher growth, using Wipro GE Healthcare's wide distribution network.

With this move, Wipro GE Healthcare will be the exclusive vehicle for all the company's healthcare activities in India. The integration would include existing business and manufacturing units such as GE Healthcare Life Sciences, GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics and GE Medical Systems India.

''The move to integrate our healthcare businesses in India will simplify the structure and improve services to the customers. We feel that, going forward, more innovation will be transported from India to the US, particularly in the healthcare space,'' said Jeffrey R Immelt, GE's global chairman and chief executive.

With this integration, Wipro GE Healthcare's staff strength would more than double to 2,000. The integration of businesses under a single entity will enable GE to get a better foothold in the $3 billion (Rs 14,300 crore) Indian market for medical devices, growing at 12-13 per cent a year, he added.

Wipro holds 49 per cent and GE 51 per cent in the joint venture. The companies declined to share financial details of the transaction. V Raja, managing director of Wipro GE Healthcare, will head the integrated company.