Newcourt Credit Group agreed Monday to buy AT&T Capital Corp. for $2.7 billion of cash and stock in a transaction that would form one of the world's largest asset finance companies.

The combined entity would have market capitalization in excess of $4.5 billion.

AT&T Capital became a privately held company in 1996 when it was bought by Hercules Holding Ltd., with financing from the investment bank Nomura International.

AT&T provides equipment leasing and related services to about 500,000 commercial customers in 23 countries. It owned or managed $13.6 billion of assets as of Sept. 30.

Newcourt Credit has an international network of 42 offices and owns or manages $7.1 billion of loans.

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