General Electric Co., working to reduce dependence on its finance unit, is in advanced talks to sell assets in the $9 billion vehicle fleet-management business to Element Financial Corp., people familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg Business.
No deal has been reached yet with Toronto-based Element, and the discussions may still fall apart, according to the report’s sources, who asked not to be identified because the matter is not public. GE hopes to come to terms on a sale of the operations by the end of the quarter, one person said.
GE leases and manages 1.4 million autos and trucks, mostly in the U.S., for mid-sized and large companies including Hewlett-Packard Co. through GE Capital Fleet Services. Unloading all or part of that business would further the plan that GE announced last month to dispose of the bulk of its finance arm.
Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt intends to sell or spin off about $200 billion of commercial and consumer lending platforms while re-emphasizing GE’s manufacturing operations. While GE will retain aircraft-leasing and other financing businesses that support industrial units, the vehicle-fleet division is seen as severable, the people said.
Element, which is focused on leasing operations in North America, jumped 4.7 percent to C$19.10 at the close in Toronto. The gain was Element’s biggest since April 10 and extended the stock’s 2015 rally to 35 percent. GE fell 0.6 percent to $27.52 in New York as major U.S. stock indexes declined.
John Sadler, an Element spokesman, declined to comment, as did Seth Martin, a spokesman for Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE.