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NEW YORK, April 20, 2015 (AFP) - General Electric, refocusing on its industrial roots, is in talks to sell its $74 billion commercial lending unit to Wells Fargo, the fourth-largest US bank, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
GE is pursuing negotiations to sell all or part of the business to Wells Fargo, with the talks also involving other bidders, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Contacted by AFP, the huge US conglomerate declined to comment.
The sale of its biggest lending operation would represent a major piece of its plan announced earlier in April to sell most of GE Capital, valued at US$200 billion, over the next two years.
Wells Fargo and private-equity firm Blackstone said on April 10 that they were buying most of GE Capital's real estate assets in a US$23 billion deal.
Last Friday, GE reported a US$13.6 billion first-quarter loss on charges from its plan to sell most of GE Capital, part of an overhaul directed by chief executive Jeff Immelt to emphasize the company's industrial and technological prowess.
But profits rose in four of its seven industrial businesses and the company said it was on track to meet its full-year earnings forecast.
Shares in Dow member GE fell 0.7 per cent to US$27.07 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange.