General Electric to sell French consumer-credit unit GE Money Bank to Cerberus Capital

General Electric Co (GE) will sell its French consumer-credit unit GE Money Bank and said that it has received a binding offer from private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management L.P., as part of the industrial group's plan to exit from the finance sector.

GE announced in April last year that it would sell off most of its financial arm GE Capital and focus on its core industrial business. At the time of the announcement, GE Capital had a $500 billion lending business.

GE had said that it would retain the financing verticals that relate directly to its industrial businesses.

The current sale would represent ending net investment of approximately $4.6 billion as of the end of the first quarter of 2016, and excludes the platform's approximately $2 billion prime mortgage portfolio which is being sold separately.

The proposed transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Including this transaction, and since the announcement in April, 2015, GE Capital has signed agreements for approximately $177 billion and has closed approximately $156 billion of those deals.

GE Capital plans to sell approximately $200 billion of its businesses worldwide and expects to complete the process by the end of 2016.

GE Capital believes it is on track to pay about $35 billion as dividends to GE under this plan, subject to regulatory approval.

 ''As we continue to execute on our strategy to sell GE Capital's businesses that aren't linked to GE, with the remainder of these transactions primarily in Europe, we're pleased to announce this agreement for the potential sale of GE Money Bank France and the DOMs to Cerberus,'' said Keith Sherin, GE Capital chairman and CEO.

''The business is well-established in consumer finance and has made a substantial contribution to GE Capital's European operations.  Cerberus has a growing profile as a European financial services investor with MCS, a debt servicing business in France, and BAWAG P.S.K., a retail bank in Austria,'' he added.