GE Unit Said to Consider $1 Billion Sale of Buyout Stakes

The private-equity investment arm of General Electric Co. plans to explore the sale of about $1 billion in fund stakes as it seeks to comply with rules that limit risk-taking by banks, according to three people familiar with the situation.

GE Capital’s Americas equity unit, which is led by Patrick Kocsi, is interviewing firms to help advise it on a secondary sale, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information is private. The holdings are mostly U.S. middle-market buyout fund stakes, they said.

A number of finance companies have been selling assets and operations as they come under pressure from the Volcker rule, a provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that limits how much they can invest in private equity. The Volcker rule prohibits banks from investing more than 3 percent of Tier 1 capital in private-equity or hedge funds, or owning more than 3 percent of a fund. Citigroup Inc. also may sell about $1 billion in holdings managed by its former private-equity business, five people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

Russell Wilkerson, a GE Capital spokesman, declined to comment on a possible sale.

The GE Capital unit, which is based in Norwalk, Connecticut, manages $2.5 billion of middle-market investments and funds, according to its website. The team, which has 25 investment professionals, directs $150 million to $200 million a year to co-investments and growth-oriented deals in medium-size companies, the website shows.

The group’s fund investment activities are led by Bruce Ingram.

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