General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) entered a $12 billion sale agreement with Canada’s biggest pension fund to hand over its private equity lending unit.
The contract marks one of the biggest steps that General Electric has taken in its decision to move out of the banking business. The company announced that it would divest three of its sponsor finance businesses including a $3 billion bank loan portfolio and Antares Capital. The Canadian Pension Plan board will take over the business while maintain the name of Antares Capital. The latter will also operate as an independent venture.
GE has been looking to divest its capital unit that is valued at about $500 billion. The company has been in the banking sector for many years, but the investors have been pushing for General Electric to place its focus solely on its industrial ventures. The move has also been heavily warranted by the heavy regulations and high taxes imposed on the finance unit.
In April, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) announced plans to sell assets worth $55 billion with an overall target of $00 by the beginning of 2016. The acquisition will give the Canadian pension plan new status as a major financier for companies planning to invest in midsized businesses in the United States.
The two parties will finalize the deal in the third quarter. It will also be the largest financial acquisition since the financial crisis. The pension fund’s strategy is to acquire businesses that will generate enough funds to bring in steady revenues. The returns will be used to cover the pension liabilities.
The acquisition of Antares Capital and its 300 employees will allow the pension fund to gain a competitive advantage in the lending scene. It will use the $6.7 billion debt portfolio to boost its position. CPPIB will pay $3.85 billion in equity while the rest will be financed with debt.
The two parties did not reveal how much the loan portfolio is worth though it is estimated to be more than $10 billion.
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