GE Agrees to Sell $4.6 Billion French Banking Unit to Cerberus

  • Annnounced sales now total $177 billion since strategy shift
  • Industrial giant is refocusing on heavy-duty manufacturing

General Electric Co. received a binding offer from Cerberus Capital Management for its French consumer finance business, with $4.6 billion in assets.

The proposed sale of GE Money Bank will be submitted to business works councils and the transaction is targeted to close in the fourth quarter, GE said in a statement Thursday. The offer doesn’t include a $2 billion prime mortgage portfolio, which is being sold separately.

The sale of the French business is the latest in a series of deals as GE Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt overhauls the company to refocus on industrial manufacturing. He has been shrinking the finance arm and sold the home-appliances business while expanding the units making products such as gas turbines and jet engines.

Including the GE Money Bank transaction, GE has announced agreements to sell $177 billion of finance assets. The company has already closed $156 billion of the deals, and said it expects to have sold $200 billion of GE Capital businesses by the end of 2016.

With the financial overhaul nearly complete, GE applied in March to shed its designation as a systemically important financial institution.

GE is keeping the financial ventures that relate to its industrial businesses. GE Capital said it’s on track to deliver $35 billion in dividends to the parent company under the divestment plans, pending approval by regulators.

GE rose 1.1 percent to $31.13 at 12:27 p.m. in New York.

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