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GE Capital buys $450m loan portfolio from CIT-Reuters

(Reuters) – GE Capital has bought a $450 million portfolio of European loans from US-based bank CIT, banking sources said on Monday.

The sale was agreed last week after GE Capital became the preferred buyer in a competitive auction process, the banking sources said.

The portfolio consists of mid-market leveraged loans. More than 50 percent are for UK companies and the rest are loans for continental European companies.

GE Capital declined to comment. CIT was not immediately available to comment.

One of the larger loans in the portfolio is UK childcare nursery provider Busy Bees. Other loans include healthcare companies Clinisys Group and weather data and forecasting business MeteoGroup, which was acquired by General Atlantic in December 2013, the banking sources said.

GE is already an existing lender to many of the companies in the portfolio and has longstanding relationships with their private equity owners.

The purchase will bolster GE’s profile in middle market lending and commercial lending, which it has been looking to grow both organically and through acquisitions.

GE last bought portfolios of loans in 2011 including a $1 billion leveraged loan portfolio from Royal Bank of Scotland.