GMAC nets $9B for mortgage unit
KKR-led group buys 78% stake in commercial mortgage unit of General Motor's finance arm.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - General Motors completed the sale of a majority stake in the commercial mortgage division of its GMAC finance unit Thursday, receiving $9 billion in cash from the transaction.
The sale was for a 78 percent stake in the unit, previously known as GMAC Commercial Holding Corp. (GMACCH), up from a previously announced 60 percent. That holding is being bought for $1.5 billion in cash. But at the closing, GMACCH also repaid GMAC about $7.3 billion of inter-company loans, bringing the cash proceeds to $9 billion.
The purchase is being made by a group including private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Five Mile Capital Partners, as well the Goldman Sachs Capital Partner unit of Goldman Sachs (Research). It is renaming the unit Capmark Financial Group Inc.
GM (Research) is also exploring a possible sale of a majority stake in GMAC. The finance unit is by far the most profitable operation at General Motors, producing net income of $2.8 billion in 2005, while GM as a whole reported a $10.6 billion loss. GMAC's mortgage business became its primary profit driver last year, producing $1.4 billion in net income compared with $1.1 billion in income from auto finance. But commercial finance involved in this sale is a minority of the mortgage business.
Still GMAC's operations have been hampered by GM's downgrade into junk bond status by the major debt rating agencies, thus raising the cost of raising capital. A sale of a majority stake in GMAC is seen as the surest way to restore its investment grade rating, while at the same time providing a cash infusion for GM's embattled auto operations.
For a look at GM's offer of up to $140,000 to its employees to leave the company, click here.