CIT Group in Livingston, N.J., plans to sell its 30% ownership stake in TC-CIT Aviation, a commercial aircraft leasing business in the U.S. and Ireland.

Tokyo Century Corp., CIT’s joint venture partner in the business, will acquire the stake. After the transaction closes, the Japanese leasing and financing company will be the sole owner.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close at the end of the month.

CIT CEO Ellen Alemany.
CEO Ellen Alemany said that the decision exit aircraft leasing is "another point of progress" in CIT's plan to become more of a traditional bank.

The sale comes as CIT continues to transform itself into a traditional bank. Over the past year and a half, under the direction of CEO Ellen Alemany, the company has shed several commercial financing businesses. Most notably, in October it announced the sale of its $10 billion-asset commercial air division to Avolon Holdings, a subsidiary of HNA Group in China.

"Last year we made the strategic decision to exit the commercial aircraft leasing business and focus CIT on our leading middle-market and small-business lending platforms that can be supported by our growing banking franchises,” Alemany said in a March 9 press release. “This transaction to exit the aviation joint ventures is another point of progress in that plan."

The TC-CIT aircraft business, established in October 2014, was excluded from the Avolon deal.

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Kristin Broughton

Kristin Broughton

Kristin Broughton is a reporter for American Banker, where she writes about the business of national and regional banking.