General Electric Company’s (NYSE:GE) healthcare division has taken a 20% stake in global venture management company Pilot Lite Ventures (PLV), expanding its consulting business as it seeks to tap into an estimated $28 billion global market in unexploited healthcare and wellness R&D, orphaned IP and early-stage technology.

GE Healthcare currently offers analytics-based consulting solutions to health and social care organisations, to design strategy, formulate improvements and achieve measurable results and outcomes. With this deal, GE will expand the services it offers to corporate clients in the life sciences and health and wellness sectors.

PLV, headquartered in London, works internationally with major corporates to validate, launch and commercialize new ventures, stranded IP, products and services. Clients include international corporates and brands from the FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 as well as the public sector.  Financial terms were not disclosed. GE has the option to increase its stake at a later date.

In major corporates, R&D projects are frequently started but not completed for strategic reasons, lack of capital allocation or changes in corporate focus.  PLV specializes in translating these early-stage innovations into commercially realizable products and investable portfolios for corporate clients and investors.

John Deverill, Managing Partner at GE Healthcare Partners said: “Big evolving markets like healthcare have big evolving problems. Pilot Lite has a proven, systemic approach to commercializing IP and innovation, including putting specialist teams on the ground to manage new or previously-retired commercial ventures for major corporates. Adding this unique solution set to our offering will enable us to better meet our clients’ needs and to differentiate GE Healthcare Partners from traditional consultancy models.”

Mike Anstey, CEO of PLV said: “GE Healthcare will be a valuable partner for us as we further develop our strategic capabilities within Europe and globally, as well as accelerating and leveraging the growth of our ground-breaking Venture Management offer. Corporates increasingly want to know not what to do but how to deliver it.  Our eight stage Venture Management process de-risks the initial ‘white space’ origination of IP and then accelerates its journey to market as well as into new business models.  Venture Management delivers accelerated market penetration and first revenues, not more paperwork and strategy.” (Original Source)

Shares of General Electric are trading at $31.29, down $0.15 or -0.48%. GE has a 1-year high of $33 and a 1-year low of $27.10. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $28.90 and its 200-day moving average is $30.36.

On the ratings front, General Electric has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on November 22, William Blair analyst Nicholas Heymann reiterated a Buy rating on GE, with a price target of $35, which represents a potential upside of 11% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on November 15, Merrill Lynch’s Andrew Obin reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $37.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Nicholas Heymann and Andrew Obin have a yearly average return of 3.3% and 7.9% respectively. Heymann has a success rate of 64% and is ranked #1731 out of 4245 analysts, while Obin has a success rate of 65% and is ranked #772.

Sentiment on the street is mostly bullish on GE stock. Out of 9 analysts who cover the stock, 5 suggest a Buy rating , 3 suggest a Hold and one recommends to Sell the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $35.25, which represents a potential upside of 12% from where the stock is currently trading.