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A General Electric employee walks past the GE headquarters in Belfort, France. Photo: Patrick Hertzog/AFP/Getty Images

General Electric is seeking to turn off the lights at its venture capital arm, which has invested in hundreds of companies since being founded in 2013.

Driving the news: CNBC's Christina Farr reported yesterday that GE Ventures "has been shopping itself for several months and is in discussions with other venture firms as well as groups of limited partners who invest in those funds," with Lazard managing the process.

What's happening:

  • Axios has learned that GE approached investment banks last summer, eventually picking Lazard, and that prospective buyers were first contacted in early 2019. At the time, it was a package of nearly 100 companies with a net asset value of approximately $500 million.
  • It's not considered to be a particularly strong portfolio, per multiple sources who have seen it.

Context: Venture capital generally sells at a discount to buyouts on the secondaries market, and corporate venture often sells at an even deeper discount because buyers don't share in any strategic synergies. For GE Ventures, that could be anywhere from a 20% to 50% haircut, if it can find a buyer at all.

  • Some of the pricing pressure is the byproduct of a relatively small universe of secondary firms interested in venture capital, and an even smaller number with enough capital to do such a large deal on their own.
  • That means GE likely not only needs a lead investor, but also that investor's limited partners to co-invest.

Between the lines: There's also is talk that some GE Ventures staffers are pitching portfolio slivers that they'd continue to manage, but it's unclear if such talks are sanctioned by GE.

The backdrop: Until recently, there really wasn't much transaction history for direct VC portfolios valued in the hundreds of millions. But then NEA sold a big basket to a Goldman Sachs-backed fund led by a former NEA partners, and Greenspring Associates quietly led the acquisition of a top-heavy portfolio from Altos Ventures that included unicorns like Roblox and Bluehole.

What to watch: I asked a GE spokesperson if the unit is still making new investments, and specified that I wasn't asking about follow-on deals for existing portfolio companies. Her reply:

"While we are evaluating strategic options for GE Ventures we are focused on actively supporting our portfolio companies."

The bottom line: GE Ventures is effectively dead, because it doesn't have a checkbook to do new deals. The only question now is where it gets buried.

Go deeper: General Electric scales back Boston HQ plans

Go deeper

Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of Trump loyalist Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”