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Wells Fargo Closes Purchase of GE's CDF Business in EMEA


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Wells Fargo & Company (WFC - Analyst Report) completed the acquisition of the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) segment of GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) business.

The San Francisco-based banking giant acquired CDF assets and nine offices from GE Capital, a unit of General Electric Company (GE - Analyst Report) . Also, 163 team members in markets across Europe, including Belgium, Finland, France and Germany, will join Wells Fargo. The EMEA segment acquisition marks the completion of Wells Fargo's purchase of certain GE Capital assets.

The latest purchase is part of Wells Fargo’s agreement announced in October last year, to acquire GE Capital’s CDF, Vendor Finance and a portion of its Corporate Finance businesses. The deals came in an effort to strengthen presence in commercial lending markets. For GE, the move is in line with its efforts to trim its financial wing and focus more on its core industrial business.

In August this year, Wells Fargo completed the acquisition of GE Capital’s CDF business in Australia & New Zealand. The acquisition comprised of CDF assets and 123 team members at five sites in Australian markets and CDF assets and seven team members at two sites in New Zealand.

In Mar 2016, Wells Fargo completed the acquisition of commercial lending and leasing businesses in North America. The total purchase included assets of around $31 billion, along with about 2,800 employees. Further, in Jul 2016, the banking giant completed the acquisition in Asia, comprising CDF assets and 46 team members in Asia Pacific markets.

Further, with the acquisition of GE Railcar Services from GE Capital, Wells Fargo Rail – the railcar finance, leasing and fleet management business of Wells Fargo – became the largest railcar and locomotive leasing company in North America. It possesses over 175,000 railcars and 1,800 locomotives.

Wells Fargo currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the finance sector include Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. (VRTS - Snapshot Report) and State Street Corp. (STT - Analyst Report) . While State Street carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), Virtus Investment sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Virtus Investment has been recording upward estimate revisions over the last 60 days. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2016 advanced 2.1% to $5.26 per share. Over the past six months, the company’s share price surged nearly 30%.

State Street has been witnessing upward estimate revisions as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate inched up 1.8% to $5.03 per share for 2016, over the last 60 days. The company gained 18% over the past six months.

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