October 10, 2014 / 10:44 PM / in 3 years

GE unit in talks to buy Milestone Aviation: WSJ

(Reuters) - General Electric Co’s (GE.N) finance arm is in talks to buy Milestone Aviation Group Ltd, as the U.S. conglomerate looks to expand its aircraft-leasing operation into helicopters, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The General Electric logo is seen in a Sears store in Schaumburg, Illinois, September 8, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young

The purchase price for Milestone could be more than $2.5 billion, according to some of the people, the Journal reported.

Milestone, co-founded by NetJets Inc founder Richard Santulli, has announced plans for an initial public offering of stock, according to the report.

Buying Milestone, the world’s largest helicopter-leasing company by fleet value, would broaden GE Capital Aviation Services’ portfolio beyond the competitive plane-leasing business, as it currently owns no helicopters, the Journal said.

“As a matter of policy, we don’t comment on market rumors or speculation,” a spokeswoman for Milestone Aviation said.

Officials at General Electric were not immediately available for comment.

Reporting By Manya Venkatesh in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings

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