GE to shrink financial business as it returns to its industrial roots

General Electric is selling most of GE Capital as it focuses increasingly its industrial business.

GE Capital is a big money generator, but also a source of risk that made stockholders nervous.

Most of GE Capital Real Estate will be sold to funds managed by Blackstone, and Wells Fargo will buy a portion of the performing loans at closing. The company also plans to sell additional commercial real estate assets, in a deal that is valued at a total of about $26.5 billion.

The Fairfield, Connecticut, company will keep parts of its financing business related to its industrial operations, like GE Capital Aviation Services, Energy Financial Services and Healthcare Equipment Finance. The company says it will record about $16 billion in after-tax charges in the first quarter.