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Wells Fargo buys GE financial unit

Wells Fargo & Co has agreed to buy the bulk of a railcar- and locomotive-leasing unit from General Electric Co. The deal will make Wells Fargo’s First Union Rail division the second-largest railcar and locomotive lessor in North America, adding more than 77,000 cars and about 1,000 locomotives to its existing fleet, the bank said. Simultaneously, GE sold tank car assets and repair facilities to Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s Marmon Holdings. The sales add to a series of GE divestitures as CEO Jeffrey Immelt steers the firm back to its industrial roots. He is expanding the manufacturing units making products such as jet engines and oilfield equipment while hiving off about $200 billion of financial assets. The transactions dismantle General Electric Railcar Services, a $4 billion-asset business that leases freight and tank cars and offers loans and maintenance services. GE also said it reached a deal to sell a $3.6 billion loan portfolio to Apollo Global Management’s MidCap Financial. The assets, including corporate and real estate loans in the U.S. and Europe, represent the bulk of the Mubadala GE Capital joint venture.

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