General Electric agreed to sell its U.S. private-equity lending business and a $3 billion bank loan portfolio to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for about $12 billion.

The business is principally made up of Antares Capital, GE Capital's lending business to private equity-backed middle- market companies, GE said in a statement Tuesday. Canada Pension said it will retain the Antares team and brand.

The agreement marks the first sale of a major business since GE announced plans April 10 to unload about $200 billion of GE Capital assets. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt is refocusing Fairfield, Connecticut-based parent GE on industrial operations. The acquisition is the largest in Canada Pension's 18-year history.

J.P. Morgan Securities and Citigroup Global Markets provided financial advice to GE and Sidley Austin provided legal advice.

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