) --

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

is in advanced talks to sell its security systems unit to

United Technologies

for more than $1.5 billion, the

Financial Times


People close to the situation told the newspaper that the discussions, though advanced, could still collapse.

GE, faced with a declining stock price, has been making efforts to reshuffle its portfolio and raise capital for acquisitions. According to the

Financial Times

, GE is looking to divest peripheral divisions in order to raise capital to fund its core businesses of infrastructure, oil and gas equipment and energy. The company also is under pressure to reduce dependence on its financial services arm, GE Capital, which faced the brunt of the financial crisis.

United Technologies, meanwhile, has been looking to expand its security business with CEO Louis Chevenert telling a recent investor conference that the company was a "willing buyer" in fire and security systems.


Financial Times

says United Technologies could expect to add more than $6 billion in annual sales from GE's security division.

News of the discussions between GE and United Technologies also was reported by