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GE Capital inks deals to sell restaurant properties

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GE Capital, one of the restaurant industry’s largest landlords and lenders, has agreed to sell most of its restaurant assets in three separate transactions to regional banks.

Who owns a GE Capital customer’s real estate or loan after the deals close later this year will depend on where that restaurant is located.

The assets of restaurant companies based in the Southeast and Southwest will be sold to Tennessee-based First Horizon National Corp.

The assets of restaurants headquartered in the Midwest and some areas of the West will be sold to Wintrust Financial Corp.

Sterling National Bank in New York City has agreed to acquire GE Capital’s restaurant holdings in the East.

Some restaurant operations in the West are not affected by the deals. The assets of those customers will be sold piecemeal going forward, according to GE Capital’s parent, General Electric.

GE did not reveal the exact proceeds of the deal, but noted that the land and loans to be divested represent an investment of about $1.4 billion.  All three deals are expected to close during the third quarter, the company said.

The announcement of the sale did not say what services would continue to be provided to customers of the three buyers. GE Capital supplies its restaurant tenants and borrowers with data on sales and marketing insights gleaned from aggregating information from the customers.

With the newly announced sales, GE has entered into deals to sell a total of $180 billion in GE Capital assets. The parent company is recasting itself as a high-tech industrial company without deep holdings in the financial services business.

“The sale of these restaurant financing assets represents our last major U.S. platform transaction,” said GE Capital CEO Keith Sherin.
 

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