SMFG agrees to buy GE's Japan leasing business for $4.8 billion

SMFG agrees to buy GE's Japan leasing business for $4.8 billion

By Taiga Uranaka

TOKYO (Reuters) – Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (SMFG) <8316.T> agreed to buy General Electric's Japanese leasing business for $4.8 billion (3.17 billion pounds), the two companies said on Tuesday.

The deal is part of GE's plan to sell off the approximately $200 billion worth of assets of its finance arm, GE Capital, as the U.S. conglomerate moves away from finance to focus on manufacturing industrial equipment.

Earlier this month, the company said it expected its GE Capital exit plan to be largely complete by end-2016.

Under the deal, SMFG will acquire GE's commercial lending & leasing business in Japan, including capital finance, fleet service & vendor finance, whose total assets are worth 510 billion yen ($4.2 billion), SMFG said.

The deal is expected to close in April 2016, the two companies said.

In June, SMFG agreed to buy GE's European private equity financing business for approximately $2.2 billion.

SMFG, Japan's third-largest lender by assets, has been aggressively expanding beyond traditional banking in Japan to offset tepid lending demand & falling interest margins.

In 2012, a consortium led by SMFG bought the aircraft-leasing business of Royal Bank of Scotland for $7.3 billion.

It has moreover spent a total of $1.5 billion over the past two years to buy 40 percent of Indonesian lender PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional Tbk (BTPN) .

(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

Source: “Reuters”