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GE agrees to sell Australia, NZ finance units

GE agrees to sell Australia, NZ finance units to Bain Capital affiliate

By Tina Morrison

Nov. 10 (BusinessDesk) - General Electric has agreed to sell its Australia and New Zealand finance businesses to Sankaty Advisors, an affiliate of Bain Capital, as part of a plan to reduce its financial assets and focus on manufacturing.

The sale of GE Capital's commercial lending and leasing portfolios in Australia and New Zealand includes about US$1.7 billion in 'ending net investment', which is a balance-sheet gauge that excludes non-interest-bearing liabilities and cash, the company said in a statement. The transaction terms weren't disclosed, although the Wall Street Journal reported the deal is valued at about A$1.9 billion including debt, citing people familiar with the situation that it didn't name.

GE has over the past eight months inked agreements to sell four Australia and New Zealand consumer and commercial financing businesses, including the latest deal, for a total of about US$9 billion of ending net investment. The deals are expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2016, completing the sale of all of GE Capital's businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

The parent company has so far agreed to sell about US$128 billion of GE Capital assets, more than 60 percent of its overall plan, Keith Sherin, GE Capital chair and chief executive, said in the statement.

The latest sale will contribute about US$100 million of capital towards the company's target of US$35 billion of dividends expected to be paid to the parent. GE will retain the financing businesses that relate directly to its industrial businesses, it said.


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