GE to Buy Stake In Banco Bilbao

MADRID - Banco Bilbao Vizcaya and General Electric Capital Corp. have signed a co-operation agreement under which the latter will take a stake in the Spanish bank.

A senior Banco Bilbao official said GE Capital would buy shares in the bank at market prices, up to a limit of about 2% of capital. In return, Banco Bilbao would participate in GE Capital leasing and credit card businesses in Europe.

In addition, the alliance envisages joint development of project finance and real estate financing business.

New Products, Ventures

The deal also involves GE Capital acquiring 45% of a Banco Bilbao subsidiary, Finanzia Banco de Credito, capitalized at $17 million, which the bank set up last November to concentrate on leasing and credit card business in Spain and Portugal.

Finanzia will also introduce factoring products and joint leasing ventures in Spain and Portugal, together with manufacturers and distributors.

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