GE Capital close to $1.5b asset sale

GE Capital will use cash raised from the sale of its Australian and New Zealand property assets, up to $1.5 billion, to build its lending business.

GE Capital will use cash raised from the sale of its Australian and New Zealand property assets, up to $1.5 billion, to build its lending business.

The group has confirmed it is well into the sale process and is talking to several interested parties.

While it does not comment on market speculation, GE Capital has been selling up to seven key properties across the country since September last year.

The main assets include 60 Carrington Street, 37-51 Pitt Street, 210-220 George Street and 99 Walker Street in Sydney, 90 Collins Street and 636 St Kilda Road in Melbourne, and Allendale Square in Perth.

It was suggested by agents that the group had signed a deal with US investor Blackstone, but these reports have been denied by GE Capital.

However, agents believe a deal is close and that the bulk of the sales process and negotiations are being run by GE Capital's US head office and its Australian real estate office managed by Jason Kougellis.

There was also talk that Mirvac and possibly Dexus were looking at some of the GE properties, while the larger groups, including Blackstone and Asian investor Pacific Alliance, were understood to be interested in the entire portfolio.

Given the time taken to reach an agreement, there have also been suggestions the portfolio could be split into two tranches to cater for local and overseas appetite.

Blackstone already has a strong presence in Australia.

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