Shinsei Bank Ltd., the Japanese lender part-owned by the private equity investor J.C. Flowers & Co., agreed to buy General Electric Co.'s local finance business for $5.4 billion, boosting its lending to consumers in Japan by almost two-thirds.
Shinsei will buy GE's Tokyo lender, Lake, and its mortgage and credit-card businesses, the banking company said Friday. Chief executive Thierry Porte decided to invest in an industry that has been in decline since a 2006 crackdown on consumer lenders' interest rates by Japan's government and courts.
GE's CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, is disposing of as much as $100 billion of financial assets.