M&A

Wells Fargo Buys $32 Billion in GE Capital Assets

Wells Fargo also takes on 3,000 GE Capital employees.
Katie Kuehner-HebertOctober 13, 2015

Wells Fargo said on Tuesday that it was buying GE Capital’s commercial-distribution-finance and vendor-finance platforms, as well as its corporate finance business, with the entire deal totaling assets of roughly $32 billion. Wells Fargo is also taking on the businesses’ approximately 3,000 employees.

“GE Capital’s businesses are industry leaders with proven business models and capabilities backed by exceptionally talented and experienced teams,” Tim Sloan, head of Wells Fargo wholesale banking, said in a press release. “These advantages, in addition to portfolios that are diversified geographically and by industry, will allow Wells Fargo to continue to grow our business in order to better serve the needs of new and existing wholesale banking customers.”

The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, includes loan and lease portfolios that are roughly 90% U.S.- and Canada-based, the company said.

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“This is our largest transaction to date and a critical step in our efforts to reduce the size of GE Capital,” GE Capital chairman and chief executive Keith Sherin said a separate press release. “Since our April 10 announcement, we’ve signed more than $126 billion in transactions, which is over 60% of our overall plan, and are on track to become less than 10% of GE’s earnings as the company transitions to a more focused digital industrial company.”

The one significant piece still to be sold is the franchise-finance unit, which has about $5.5 billion of assets, Sherin said.

Wells Fargo has been one of the biggest buyers of GE assets, according to Bloomberg. The company in September announced a deal for the bulk of a railcar-and-locomotive-leasing unit from the company, and earlier this year, Wells Fargo said it would acquire GE real estate assets.

Jeffrey Immelt, chairman of The General Electric Co., parent company of GE Capital, “is exiting most of the lending operations while expanding units making products such as jet engines and oilfield equipment,” according to a story on the deal by Bloomberg.

 

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