GE Sells Australia, N.Z. Loans, Leasing to Bain Capital Unit

  • Sale marks GE Capital exit from Australia, New Zealand
  • GE has sold assets worth $128 billion globally so far

General Electric Co. has agreed to sell the last of its Australia and New Zealand finance business as part of a global plan to return to its manufacturing roots.

GE will sell its commercial lending and leasing portfolio in the two countries to Sankaty Advisors, an affiliate of Bain Capital LLC, it said in a statement Monday. In the past eight months, it has agreed to dispose of three consumer and commercial financing businesses in the region, according to the release. All transactions are expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2016.

GE is shedding most of its financial-services unit GE Capital and consumer units such as the appliances division, with Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt turning the focus to products such as jet engines, oilfield equipment and locomotives. The value of GE Capital units divested so far stands at about $128 billion, or more than 60 percent of the overall plan, Keith Sherin, chairman and CEO of the unit, said in the statement.

The Australia and New Zealand transactions total about $9 billion in “ending net investments,” which is a balance-sheet gauge that excludes non-interest-bearing liabilities and cash. The transaction will provide about $100 million to the target of $35 billion of dividends expected to be paid to the parent as a result of the divestitures, it said.

GE plans to retain some lending units that support its manufacturing operations, it said in the statement.

Morgan Stanley was the financial adviser while King & Wood Mallesons and Minter Ellison provided legal advice, GE said.

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