GE Capital to Buy Most of CitiCapital

GE Capital said Thursday it agreed to acquire most of Citigroup's North American commercial lending and leasing business for an undisclosed price.

GE Capital, a unit of General Electric would buy seven CitiCapital equipment finance business lines, ranging from healthcare finance to construction equipment finance.

CitiCapital's tax exempt finance business would remain with Citigroup. GE Capital had acquired Citigroup's transportation financial services business in 2005.

The deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, would add about $13.4 billion in assets to GE Capital's commercial finance business.

In addition, GE Capital and Citi also are exploring cross-sell relationships with commercial clients, the companies said. Additional details were not immediately available.

"This transaction allows Citigroup to release capital from non-core areas and redistribute that capital to areas with the greatest opportunities for profitable growth," said Peter Knitzer, chairman and chief executive officer of Citibank North America.

Citigroup has been trying to strengthen its balance sheet and cut costs after a write-down for mortgages led to a record $9.83 billion quarterly loss.