The City has a love-hate relationship with GEC. The company's inherent strengths - conservative accounting, cash generation and robust market positions in areas of advanced technology and the success of the GEC-Alsthom joint venture - are unequivocally admired. There is, though, disappointment at recent share price performance, the lack of any strong earnings momentum that could boost GEC's rating, and the unproductive pounds 2.8bn cash mountain. Professional investors are restless and want excitement.
Despite speculation that GEC is on the verge of a big acquisition, nothing material is in the offing. Similarly, ailing companies in GEC's newly designated industrial division are unlikely to be sold at this stage of the cycle while recent talk that GEC Plessey Semiconductors is to be sold to Rockwell International for pounds 150m is wide of the mark. Yet GEC is Lord Weinstock's personal creation over the past 30 years. It is hard to believe he will not bow out on a rousing note before his final two years at the helm are up.Reuse content