ICICI and Apollo back GE leasing India acquisition

GE Capital is selling its commercial lending and leasing business in India to AION Capital Partners and a team of former GE executives.

AION Capital Partners is backing the acquisition of GE Capital’s commercial lending and leasing business in India by former GE executives for $350 million, local press reported.

AION is a joint venture between private equity firms ICICI Venture and Apollo Global Management. GE Capital Services India was put up for sale as part of the large-scale disposal of its financial units by US-headquartered industrial conglomerate General Electric.

Pramod Bhasin, former chief executive officer of back office firm Genpact, teamed up with GE Capital ex-colleague Anil Chawla to form Plutus Financials to acquire the business in partnership with AION, according to filings with the Bombay Stock Exchange. Plutus put up 5-10 percent of the financing for the deal with the rest of the capital provided by Apollo and its affiliates, PDI understands. 

Chawla was a managing director of GE India and chief executive officer at GE Commercial Finance before he launched US hedge fund and private equity advisor DE Shaw's Indian operations in 2006.

General Electric is exiting its financial services worldwide and to concentrate on its traditional industrial businesses. It started to sell a majority of its assets in April. The company is also disposing of its credit card joint venture with State Bank of India and has mandated Morgan Stanley to run a formal sale process. 

The sale of GE Capital Services India is worth roughly $400 million in ending net investment to GE, according to the seller.

AION has $825 million in committed capital. It employs equity, debt or hybrid investment instruments.