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GE takes ax to GE Capital; sells real estate assets for $26.5 billion


New York -- General Electric Company on Friday announced it will sell or spin off the majority of its $500 billion GE Capital finance business over the next two years as it looks to simplify and concentrate on its industrial roots. The company said it will keep its aircraft leasing operation and smaller lending lines.

GE said it has sold its real-estate assets, which include commercial loans and office buildings, for $26.5 billion, with Wells Fargo & Co. and private equity firm Blackstone Group buying the bulk of it.

“This is an important transaction in the commercial real estate industry and Wells Fargo is pleased to be working with our colleagues at GE Capital and Blackstone. The portfolio of performing loans we’ve purchased is a strong addition to our commercial real estate platform in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, which are all active lending markets for us,” said Mark Myers, head of commercial real estate for Wells Fargo.

GE will take a $16 billion after-tax charge against earnings the first quarter this year as a result, the company said.

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