General Electric reportedly discussing sale of rail unit to Wabtec

Employees install equipment on General Electric Co. (GE) Evolution Series Tier 4 diesel locomotives at the GE Manufacturing Solutions facility in Fort Worth, Texas

General Electric is in discussions to sell its rail business to Wabtec, according to multiple reports Friday.

Shares of Wabtec rose more than 6 percent in trading Friday.

The industrial conglomerate’s transportation business is valued at about $7 billion, with GE examining multiple ways to offload the division. CEO John Flannery has been looking to sell or spin-off more than $20 billion in assets since October. The conglomerate most recently announced plans for private equity firm Veritas Capital to acquire a GE health-care unit for $1.05 billion in cash.

Wabtec – an acronymization of Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation – is a manufacturer of locomotives, freight cars and other rail-related products. The company is based in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania.

General Electric and Wabtec did not immediately respond to CNBC requests for comment.

GE stock was up over 5 percent, rising earlier in the day when the company reported better than expected first quarter earnings.