Exclusive: GE's Swiss lending unit for sale, UBS to bid - sources

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Published December 04, 2012

| Reuters

General Electric Co wants to sell its Swiss consumer lending business, two sources familiar with the matter said, with UBS one of the parties interested in a deal that could be worth up to 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.62 billion).

The sources told Reuters that UBS was one of at least two parties who plan to submit bids in an auction process.

"GE wants to finalize the sale of GE Money Bank by the end of the first quarter," said one of the sources.

Spokespeople for UBS and GE Money Bank in Switzerland declined to comment to Reuters.

The disposal is part of a plan by the U.S. conglomerate to shed non-core assets such as a $1.5 billion stake in Thailand's fifth-largest lender, Bank of Ayudhya .

If UBS were to buy the unit, dubbed GE Money Bank, it would be the first deal of note for Switzerland's biggest bank since the financial crisis when it ran up $50 billion in subprime losses and took a Swiss government bailout in 2008.

(Reporting By Oliver Hirt. Writing by Katharina Bart. Editing by Emma Thomasson)

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