General Electric Co. is selling the consumer-lending business of GE Capital in Australia and New Zealand for A$8.2 billion (US$6.26 billion), including debt, to an investor group that includes KKR & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG.
The deal is part of GE’s moves to reduce its presence in banking as investors urge the conglomerate to focus on industrial operations like making jet engines, power turbines and CT scanners, the Wall Street Journal reported.
It has already exited or reduced its presence in consumer businesses in Japan, Turkey, the Nordic region, Eastern Europe and the UK . Last year, it sold stakes in GE Capital’s credit card and retail payment plan businesses in North America, part of a plan to spin it off entirely this year, the newspaper said.
GE Capital’s consumer-finance business in Australia and New Zealand has more than three million customers. It provides personal loans and credit cards, as well as interest-free financing for products sold by local retail partners.
GE Capital will keep its commercial finance unit, which provides loans and leasing to midsize businesses in Australia and New Zealand.
In the latest deal, the KKR-Deutsche Bank group beat several other suitors, including three separate groups involving TPG, Apollo Global Management LLC and Macquarie Group Ltd., the report said.
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