General Electric on Wednesday said it will sell its jet leasing business to rival AerCap in a deal valued at $30 billion, a move that would create a massive lessor as the aviation industry struggles through the Covid-19 pandemic and GE moves to reduce its debt load.
The deal would give GE a 46% stake in the combined company and generate about $24 billion in cash. GE Capital Aviation Services, or Gecas, is a part of GE Capital, which has been whittled down since the financial crisis. When the deal closes, which GE expects to take nine to 12 months, GE Capital will be folded into the larger corporate structure, no longer broken out as a separate unit in financial reports.
GE said it would reduce its debt by about $30 billion after the transaction closes using proceeds from the deal and existing cash. The company said it would take a $3 billion charge in the first quarter of 2021.
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