With the enthusiasm around its industrial transformation stalled, General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) is hoping for a boost from an oil megadeal that has already won the backing of the activist investor Nelson Peltz.

Chief executive officer Jeffrey Immelt is merging the company’s oil and gas unit with Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) to create a behemoth capable of both weathering the slump in crude prices and capitalizing on a recovery. With $32 billion in sales and a more robust offering of products and services, the merged entity could position GE to compete more effectively as it deepens its bet on the energy markets.

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