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GE Capital, the commercial finance company of conglomerate General Electric Co., said today it plans to acquire Heller Financial Inc., a financial arm of Japan's Fuji Bank, for approximately $5.3 billion in cash. Both companies have specialty lending arms geared toward the c-store and petroleum marketing industry.
The acquisition of Heller will be a boost for GE Capital's parent GE, which suffered a stinging defeat recently when European antitrust regulators blocked its $43 billion takeover of diversified manufacturer Honeywell International Inc. The company's attempts to lure CIT Group Inc. and the creditors of Finova Group Inc. into deals also failed earlier this year.
The acquisition of Heller Financial is regarded by most analysts as a good fit for GE Capital, which has one of the best credit ratings in the commercial lending industry. The deal would make GE capital one of the dominant lenders in the convenience store and petroleum industry.