Heller Financial, the
Chicago-based commercial finance business controlled by Japan's Mizuho Holdings, has been
bought over by GE Capital for an estimated $5.3 billion, making it the second largest
acquisition made by GE Capital. Heller Financial specialises in corporate and asset-based
lending and leasing in areas such as real estate, medical equipment and aircraft. Mizuho
is Japan's largest bank following its creation last year from a three-bank merger.
According to Denis Nayden, GE
Capital chairman and chief executive, the company believes that the acquisition of Heller
will help GE Capital solidify its high double-digit growth targets for 2002. This, he
said, was based on Heller's specialised service offerings, additional geographic spread
and significant intellectual capital.
This deal comes close on the heels
of GE Capital's failure to capture CIT, another specialist financial services company,
which was sold earlier in the year to Tyco International for an estimated $9.2 billion.
It is understood that GE Capital is
also planning to acquire Comdisco, the US-based computer and technology finance company
under bankruptcy protection. This plan comes close on the heels of its inability to
acquire Finove, another troubled finance company, which was finally acquired by Warren
Heller, with a staff of around
2,500, manages assets of approximately $19.1 billion.