GE sells aircraft leasing unit in $30 bln deal

The world's two largest aircraft leasing companies are combining in a more than $30 billion deal that will create a new financing giant ahead of an expected rebound in global air travel.

General Electric is selling its aircraft financing arm GECAS to AerCap of Ireland, according to details revealed on Wednesday.

Rumors of a tie-up have been circulating all week.

The combination creates a portfolio of more than 2,000 jets, that's three times as large as its nearest rival...

And as the biggest buyer of jetliners built by Airbus and Boeing, the merger forms a company large enough to reshape the global air finance industry at a pivotal time.

Several smaller leasing firms have struggled to survive over the past year as the global health crisis resulted in a slump in global air travel...forcing airlines to park planes and delay deliveries.

The sale of GE Capital Aviation Services is the latest effort to clean up the balance sheet and streamline operations at the humbled industrial conglomerate.

CEO Larry Culp came in in 2018 vowing to reduce debt and refocus the company on four core industries: power, renewable energy, aviation and healthcare.

Shares of GE have been rebounding under his tenure- and are up 23 percent so far this year.