GE Acquires Associates Fleet Services

GE Capital Fleet Services acquired CitiCapital’s Associates Fleet Services business. CitiCapital is a unit of banking giant Citigroup Inc. of New York. The total assets were valued at approximately $750 million, although additional details of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal closed on September 21, 2001.

CitiCapital was forced to divest itself of the fleet leasing operations because long-standing Canadian banking regulations prohibit foreign banks from owning more than 25 per cent of any company engaged in automotive leasing. The sale fulfills a condition of CitiCapital’s parent company’s US$30 billion stock purchase last November of Associates First Capital Corp.

Leslie Battrick of GE Canada was assisted by a team from McCarthy Tétrault LLP, which included Henry J.P. Wiercinski and Steven J. Rapkin (corporate/commercial), Mary Beth Currie (labour and employment) and Lorraine Allard (pensions). Paul Crampton and Anita Banicevic of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP handled competition and Investment Canada issues, and Sandra Jack of Felesky Flynn LLP provided tax advice to GE.

Charles Alexander of Citibank Canada called on Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, the bank’s regular Canadian counsel, to handle the transaction. John Teolis (regulatory) and Greg Frenette (corporate/commercial) led the Blakes team, which included Anna MacMillan and Elizabeth Lee (corporate/commercial), Paul Tamaki (tax), Allan Gelkopf (commodity tax), Kathy Bush (pension/benefits) and Rob Kwinter (competition law).