GE Capital to sell New Zealand consumer finance businesses

GE Capital, the finance company owned by US firm General Electric, is selling its New Zealand and Australian consumer finance businesses, including GE Money, GE CreditLine, GEM Visa card and the Countdown OneCard Visa credit card.

In New Zealand, GE Money has assets worth $1.4 billion, employing 800 staff with some 530,000 customers, according to its website. Its credit cards fall under GE Finance and Insurance, which amalgamated with GE Capital NZ Funding in 2011. A spokesman for GE Capital confirmed the sale in an email.

“The decision to explore options to sell the consumer business fits with our overall strategy to be the world’s premier infrastructure technology company and the leading specialty finance provider to the mid-market,” the spokesman said. “GE is committed to this growth strategy in Australia and New Zealand and will continue to invest here. To achieve its full growth potential, our consumer business needs to be aligned with a company that has similar growth ambitions in the consumer space, or by establishing a standalone business”

In calendar 2013 GE Finance and Insurance returned to profit, reporting earnings of $69.9 million and turning around a loss of $20.4 million a year earlier, which included a $138 million charge to a related party. It had loans and receivables worth $1.9 billion as at Dec. 31, 2013.

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