Sumitomo Mitsui Banking to buy GE’s European Sponsor Finance for $2.2 bln

GE said Tuesday that it has agreed to sell its European Sponsor Finance business to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. Europe Ltd., a  subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., for about $2.2 billion. The GE business provides sponsor finance for European mid-market private equity deals. GE Capital is keeping its $1 billion investment in the European Senior Secured Loan Programme and European Loan Programme, both joint ventures between GE Capital and Ares Capital. The deal is expected to close in third quarter. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup Global Markets advised GE.

PRESS RELEASE

FAIRFIELD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GE (NYSE:GE) announced today that Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Limited (SMBCE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) has made an agreed offer to acquire GE’s European Sponsor Finance business for approximately US$2.2 billion. The business is a leading provider of sponsor finance for European mid-market, private-equity backed transactions.

“As GE Capital continues to execute on its strategy to sell most of the assets of GE Capital, this agreement with SMBCE shows our European businesses are of great interest to financial services firms around the world,” said Keith Sherin, GE Capital chairman and CEO. “We had many indications of interest in this business and are pleased to partner with SMBCE on the sale of this franchise,” he added.
GE Capital will retain its $1 billion investment in the European Senior Secured Loan Programme and European Loan Programme, both joint ventures between affiliates of GE Capital and affiliates of Ares Capital.
When completed, the portfolio, which represents about $2.2 billion of ENI, will contribute approximately $0.4 billion of capital to the overall target of approximately $35 billion of dividends expected to GE under this plan (subject to regulatory approval).
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approval. It is expected to close in the third quarter of 2015. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup Global Markets provided financial advice to GE and Clifford Chance provided legal advice.
Update on GE Capital Progress
As previously announced, GE is embarking on a strategy to focus on its high-value industrial businesses and is selling most GE Capital assets. GE will retain the financing “verticals” that relate to GE’s industrial businesses.
Since the April 10 announcement, GE has signed agreements to sell about $23 billion, including the European Sponsor Finance deal announced today with ENI of $2.2 billion. Other sales during the quarter include $1.2 billion of loans in our UK Home Lending portfolio, plus the previously announced $8.6 billion global Fleet Services business and the approximately $11 billion U.S. Sponsor Finance business.
In addition, during the quarter, the sale of GE Capital’s Budapest Bank to the Hungarian State closed on June 29 and GE Capital Real Estate closed, in total, approximately $15 billion of previously announced sales.
Sherin concluded, “We’ve had tremendous interest in our businesses and assets. We continue to execute with speed, certainty and value as we work to transform GE to a more focused industrial company.”
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