Despite weeks of public silence, General Electric Capital Corp. is still on track to buy the large mortgage unit of She son Lehman Brothers, industry sources said.

GE had originally planned to announce the deal July 16, the sources said, but negotiations have taken longer than exp ed. The announcement is near, but no date has e set, th said. "There appears to be nothing to blow it up this time," one industry said of the deal.

Headed for No.5 Spot

Last month, American Banker reported that GE was moving to buy the Irvine, Calif., Shearson unit, which services about $17 billion of loans. The deal would make GE one of the nation's five largest servicers, with a portfolio of $56 billion.

The sources speculated that the delay in finalizing a deal was caused by hard bargaining by GE Capital, which is known for demanding last-minute concessions in acquisitions.

A GE Capital spokesman declined to comment, and Shearson did not return phone calls.

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