UPDATE 2-GE Capital to sell U.S. real estate, Canadian fleet portfolios

Fri May 31, 2013 11:21am EDT
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* To sell $807 million U.S. property portfolio to American Realty Capital

* To sell Canadian fleet portfolio to Element Financial for $553.48 mln

May 31 (Reuters) - GE Capital will sell off some U.S. real estate assets and its Canadian vehicle leasing business, as part of parent General Electric Co's efforts to reduce the size of the financial unit.

In separate deals announced on Friday, GE Capital said it would sell its $807 million U.S. property portfolio to American Realty Capital Properties, while Element Financial Corp will take over its Canadian auto fleet portfolio for $553.48 million.

General Electric last week said it was considering spinning off parts of the financial arm through an initial public offering.

The conglomerate has been focusing on shrinking its financial business since the 2007-2008 global economic crisis. It has offloaded several assets held by GE Capital to reduce its dependence on the unit.

GE derived nearly half of its earnings from continuing operations from GE Capital in fiscal 2012.

The diversified company is also looking for successors to GE Capital Chief Executive Michael Neal, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing sources.