GE to sell UK home loan portfolio to Blackstone-led consortium

Reuters
The logo of General Electric is pictured at the 26th World Gas Conference in Paris, France, June 2, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

(Reuters) - General Electric Co said on Monday it would sell its $5.9 billion (£3.9 billion) portfolio of UK home loans to an investment consortium led by Blackstone Group LP , as it exits its UK mortgage business.

GE said the deal represents the sale of almost all its remaining British home lending business, reducing its size to about $400 million, from $13 billion at the beginning of the year.

GE did not disclose the terms of the deal, which it expects to close in December.

The portfolio of loans was sold to a consortium made up of investment firm Blackstone, TPG Special Situations Partners, and investment manager CarVal Investors, GE said.

The deal is part of GE's plan to divest assets worth about $200 billion of its finance arm, GE Capital, as it moves away from finance and focuses on manufacturing industrial equipment.

The U.S. conglomerate has inked over $126 billion in transactions -- more than half of its overall target for 2015 -- since announcing in April it would seek to reduce its GE Capital financing business to less than 10 percent of earnings.

GE Capital accounted for 42 percent of the company's profit in 2014.

GE said the UK home loan deal would contribute $400 million of capital to its overall target to pay about $35 billion of dividends to GE shareholders.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Maju Samuel)