"GE is the symbol of American business to the world," Buffett said. "They have strong global brands and businesses with which I am quite familiar. I am confident that GE will continue to be successful in the years to come."
At the same time as issuing shares to Buffett, the company is offering $12 billion of common stock to the public. General Electric's chief executive, Jeffrey Immelt, said the proceeds would help to protect the company's triple-A credit rating and could potentially fund acquisitions.
On Sept. 25, Immelt reduced his annual profit forecast for the second time this year and suspended a $15 billion buyback program, shifting capital to protect GE's dividend and AAA credit rating, the highest available, as volatility in credit markets reduced profit at its finance arm.
The cash infusion is also seen as an indicator revealing how even the sturdiest of companies are being challenged by the firestorm pelting the credit markets.
General Electric plans to sell $12 billion in common shares to the public as early as Thursday.
Buffett also invested $5 billion in Wall Street bellwether Goldman Sachs Group Inc. last week. Scores of other companies have unsuccessfully sought his assistance as the banking system has come under pressure.