GE Capital Services Corp. last week expanded its auto fleet business into Japan by acquiring Tokyo-based Japan Leasing Corp., that country's second-biggest leasing concern.
Terms were not disclosed. But GE Capital said Japan Leasing has $16.6 billion in assets, including $6.6 billion in total leases, and 140,000 vehicles under management valued at $1.1 billion.
Its primary products are business equipment and computers. The company declared bankruptcy last September.
GE Capital is based in Stamford, Conn., but the auto leasing subsidiary of Japan Leasing, Japan Lease Auto, becomes part of GE Capital Fleet Services, a subsidiary based in Eden Prairie, Minn.
Fleet Services is a leading corporate fleet management company, with around 1 million cars and trucks under lease and service management in North America, Japan, Europe, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.
Japan Lease Auto has about 580 employees, in 19 branch offices, said Bob Cochrane, spokesman for Fleet Services. GE Capital also bought Japan Lease Auto Service, a related maintenance business.
'Both Japan Leasing and Japan Lease Auto are pioneers of the leasing industry of Japan,' said Michael Neal, executive vice president and head of GE Capital's equipment leasing business unit. Neal's subsidiary takes over the bigger, nonauto portion of the Japanese acquisition.
Separately, GE Capital also acquired the captive finance company for Nissan Motor Corp. in Australia, Nissan Finance, according to spokeswoman Mary Horne.
GE Capital entered Japanese fleet auto leasing in 1996, when it acquired 80 percent of the much smaller Marubeni Car System, with around 21,000 autos under management.
Another subsidiary, GE Capital Auto Financial Services, based in Barrington, Ill., is one of the biggest independent auto leasing companies in the United States for individual customers.