KKR and Apollo vie for GE’s inventory finance unit

 The two alternative investment firms have reportedly submitted bids for the $11 billion GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance business as GE sells off the rest of its lending interests.  

KKR and Apollo Global Management are rumoured to have submitted bids for GE Capital’s inventory finance arm, a business that has $11 billion in assets under management.

The two New York-based alternative investment firms, who have large credit businesses of their own, are said to have bid for the unit this month, according to a Bloomberg report. 

KKR, Apollo and GE all declined to comment.

The GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance makes loans to retailers and manufacturers. It provides financing to help move products, including boats, electronics and furniture from manufacturers to dealers. The decision on the sale is expected to be made by the end of this month.

The unit is one of four commercial finance lenders at GE, which have a combined $40 billion in assets. One of these, the GE transportation finance division, was sold to the Bank of Montreal last week.

Apollo has previously bid for two other GE Capital businesses: the GE Healthcare Financial Services arm, which was sold to Capital One bank in August; and the GE Antares Capital business, which works on US sponsor-backed transactions and was sold to CPPIB this summer. KKR had also bid on the Antares business.

Jeff Immelt, General Electric’s chief executive, announced a plan to sell most of the $200 billion in GE Capital assets in April as part of an effort to streamline the company’s business and avoid more regulatory scrutiny.