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GE, Santander in Deal Over GE Money, Interbanca

General Electric said its GE Commercial Finance unit will acquire Banco Santander's Italian banking arm Interbanca, while the Spanish bank will buy several GE Money businesses in Europe.

GE Building
GE Building

Each transaction is valued at about 1 billion euros ($1.55 billion), and expected to close early in the fourth quarter, GE said in a statement. GE and Santander reached a preliminary agreement on the asset swap in March.

The European asset sale includes GE Money's businesses in Germany, Finland and Austria, as well as its UK card and auto businesses.

Santander picked up Interbanca as part of its acquisition of Dutch bank ABN Amro Holding jointly with Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Belgian-Dutch financial group Fortis. It has been trying to build up its presence in the highly profitable consumer finance business.

GE, meanwhile, has been cutting exposure to some of the more volatile areas of the finance industry, including mortgage lending. It has also put its U.S. private label credit card and Japanese consumer lending units on the block.

GE Money has more than $200 billion in assets, with in excess of 130 million global customers in 55 countries, GE said.

Shares of Santander were trading down more than 1 percent at 13.22 euros in Madrid.

GE shares closed at $30.72 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(General Electric is the parent company of CNBC.)