PE consortium agrees A$8.2bn GE deal

Värde Partners, KKR and Deutsche Bank will buy the Australia and New Zealand financial services unit of General Electric

An investor consortium, including private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and credit-focused Värde Partners, has signed an agreement to buy the Australia- and New Zealand-based financial services unit of American multinational conglomerate General Electric, according to a statement.

The transaction, which also includes Deutsche Bank as an investor, is valued at A$8.2 billion ($6.27 billion; €5.95 billion), and is one of the largest private equity transactions ever completed in the Australasian region, the statement said.

The business offers a range of services and products, including personal loans, credit cards and interest free retail finance. It has more than 3 million customers and partners with major retailers in Australia and New Zealand.

It is unclear which stake each firm took in the company, but a source close to the matter confirmed to Private Equity International that KKR invested from its $6 billion Asia Fund II.

“GE Capital is one the most respected providers of consumer finance in Australasia. They are led by a strong management team with an outstanding track record of partnering with leading retailers,” Ed Bostock, director of KKR Australia, commented.

Ali Haroon, Värde’s lead partner in the Asia Pacific region, added, “This investment demonstrates Värde’s continued commitment to our Asia-Pacific business, and we look forward to working with the management team to grow the business and strengthen its retail partnerships.”