LONDON/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - U.S. conglomerate General Electric (GE.N) is exploring the sale of its GE Money Bank unit in the Nordic region, which could fetch up to 2 billion euros ($2.75 billion), as it retreats from the finance sector, sources close to the matter told Reuters.
GE Money Bank, established in the Nordic market in 1993, is part of General Electric’s (GE) financial arm GE Capital, which is working with Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) to review its options, three sources said.
GE and Bank of America declined to comment.
GE has said it aims to shift its earnings mix to 70 percent from the industrial sector and 30 percent from the financial sector.
Its banking business, GE Capital, which has a consumer finance and banking business specializing in credit cards, personal loans, auto financing and savings, contributed 45 percent of GE’s earnings in 2012.
The conglomerate has already sold its consumer credit business in Austria and Germany to Spanish bank Santander (SAN.MC) and floated its Swiss consumer lending business, renamed Cembra Money Bank CMBN.S.
Potential buyers for GE Money Bank Nordics include private equity firms as well as strategic players with a consumer finance presence in the region, the sources said.
GE Money Bank Nordics employs 800 people with a presence in Denmark, Norway and Sweden and is active in loans and credits, credit cards, deposits and insurance.
Bank of America also acted as joint bookrunner on the Cembra flotation in October.
($1 = 0.7258 Euros)
Additional reporting by Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt; Editing by Mark Potter