Canada's Element Financial close to GE fleet asset purchase- sources

Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:06pm EDT
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By Euan Rocha, John Tilak and Lewis Krauskopf

TORONTO/NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - Canada's Element Financial is close to buying a large chunk of General Electric Co's vehicle fleet-management business in a deal that could be sealed as early as the end of June, three sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

GE has said the business includes $9 billion in assets. The sale would be part of a plan it unveiled in April to divest about $200 billion in GE Capital assets as it moves away from finance and focuses on manufacturing of industrial equipment.

The sources said Element is poised to acquire a good piece of the vehicle fleet-management business, with a smaller portion being taken by another party. The business helps to finance and manage the vehicles of companies that own vast fleets for sales staff, technicians and others that are always on the move.

The sources said Element is mainly interested in the North American portion of GE's fleet-management unit.

GE's private-equity lending portfolio was scooped up by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board earlier in June for $12 billion.

GE and Element Financial declined to comment. (Reporting by Euan Rocha, John Tilak and Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Diane Craft)