FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) – Shares of General Electric Co. skidded 9 percent Thursday as the industrial and commercial conglomerate announced a share offering that will be priced at a discount to the stock’s closing price Wednesday.

Fairfield-based GE priced 547.8 million shares at $22.25 each – the same price GE extended to Warren Buffett, who Wednesday received warrants to purchase $3 billion worth of common stock over the next five years.

But the price represents a 9 percent discount to GE’s Wednesday close of $24.50. In morning trading, GE fell $2.30, or 9.4 percent, to $22.20, and was the biggest loser on the Dow Jones industrial average.

GE’s share price has been battered for weeks as investors fled companies with exposure to financial services. Nearly half of GE’s profit comes from its finance arm, which does business in credit cards, commercial real estate and other financial services. The stock rebounded Wednesday after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed to invest $3 billion in GE preferred shares.

Underwriters of GE’s public stock offering have the right to sell 82.17 million more shares, which would boost the value of the offering by $1.83 billion.

GE has announced several moves to increase its cash as capital market seized up. It announced Sept. 25 that, for the first time in three decades, it would not increase its dividend, reduce the earnings dividend GE Capital must pay to GE and suspend current buyback plans.

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