The company filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and said it expects the initial public offering to be completed this year, and that it is targeting to "complete its exit from the Retail Finance business through a split-off transaction in 2015."
The new company will be called Synchrony Financial.
GE announced its plan to exit its North American consume finance unit - mainly a credit card lender - in November, as part of CEO Jeff Immelt's plan to continue shrinking GE Capital and focus on the parent company's core industrial businesses.
Shedding the credit card assets will reduce GE Capital's liquidity requirements, which is part of GE's plan to avoid the type of liquidity crisis it faced in 2008, from its reliance on commercial paper for liquidity. GE plans to continue having GE Capital provide market commercial financing and lend to its industrial customers.
According to Synchrony Financial's S-1 filing, GE's North American Consumer Finance unit had $59.1 billion in total assets as of Dec. 31, with retail credit card receivables of $39.8 billion. Funding consisted of $25.7 billion in deposits gathered through GE Retail Bank, which will be renamed Synchrony Bank, as well $23.4 billion in borrowings. The unit's equity totaled just under $6.0 billion.
GE previously said it would offer up to 20% of the consumer finance unit's equity through the IPO, before eventually disposing completing its exit from the business in a transaction that would be tax-free to GE shareholders.