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GE entered into separate agreements with three buyers to sell the bulk of GE Capital’s U.S. restaurant franchise financing assets. The combined transactions represent ending net investment (ENI) of approximately $1.4 billion as of first quarter 2016 and are collectively expected to release approximately $0.2 billion of capital to GE. The transactions are expected to close in the third quarter this year.
Under these agreements, each buyer will acquire assets based on the regional headquarters location of the respective Borrowers. First Horizon National Corporation, a Tennessee-based bank with assets of approximately $27 billion, will acquire assets in the Southwest and Southeast. Wintrust Financial Corporation, an Illinois-based bank with approximately $23 billion in assets, will acquire assets in the Midwest and part of the West. Finally, Sterling National Bank, which is headquartered in New York and has approximately $13 billion in assets, will acquire assets in the East. The remainder of assets in the West will be sold separately. Further details on the transaction terms are not being disclosed.
“As we continue to execute on our strategy to sell GE Capital’s assets that are not linked to GE, the sale of these restaurant financing assets represents our last major U.S. platform transaction,” says GE Capital Chairman and CEO Keith Sherin. “We are pleased to reach separate agreements with three strong buyers that will be able to continue to serve our customers and restaurant brands as they continue to grow.”
As previously announced, GE is focusing on its high-value industrial businesses and is selling most GE Capital assets. GE will retain the financing verticals that relate directly to GE’s industrial businesses.
Since the announcement in April 2015, GE Capital has signed agreements for approximately $180 billion and has closed approximately $156 billion of those. In total, GE plans to sell approximately $200 billion of GE Capital businesses worldwide and expects to be largely complete with the process by the end of 2016. GE Capital expects to deliver about $35 billion of dividends to GE under this plan, subject to regulatory approval.
Barclays and Moelis & Company served as financial advisors to GE. Hogan Lovells served as transaction counsel to GE.