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Tuesday, July 31, 2001

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GE Capital to buy Heller Financial

STAMFORD, Connecticut, JULY 30. GE Capital, the huge finance arm of conglomerate General Electric Co., said on Monday that it planned to buy Heller Financial Inc. for about $5.3 billion in cash, a 50 per cent premium over the company's closing stock price, in an effort to expand its sizable commercial-finance operations.

Japan's Fuji Bank, which owns 52 per cent of Heller and controls about 77 per cent of the voting power, said in a statement that it had agreed to sell its stake to GE Capital. Fuji is a subsidiary of top Japanese bank Mizuho Holdings Inc.

The purchase of Chicago-based Heller is likely to be viewed as a nice reward for GE Capital after two major failed recent deals.

The Stamford, Connecticut, company earlier this year was unable to entice executives of CIT Group Inc. and creditors of FiNova Group Inc. into deals, and both companies ended up in the arms of competitors.

- Reuters

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