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American Express to Buy GE Unit for $1.1 Billion

American Express said it agreed to acquire Corporate Payment Services, a commercial credit card and corporate purchasing business, from General Electric's GE Money unit for $1.1 billion in cash.

American Express expects the deal will reduce earnings per share and return on equity for an undisclosed number of years.

Corporate Payment Services handled more than $14 billion in purchases worldwide last year, and had extended $1.1 billion in loans. It has more than 300 large corporate clients.

The unit's largest single client, CNBC.com parent GE, will remain a client after the sale to American Express. Corporate Payment Services has about 350 employees based largely in Salt Lake City.