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CIT Group sells aircraft-leasing business for $10 billion

Associated Press Associated Press 7/10/2016

NEW YORK — CIT Group Inc. said Thursday it is selling its commercial aircraft-leasing business to a subsidiary of China's Bohai Capital Holding Co. for $10 billion.

Shares of CIT rose almost 8 percent in extended trading after the sale was announced.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2017 if it wins regulatory approval in the U.S. and China.

New York-based CIT, a financial-services holding company, said the sale to Bohai's Avolon Holdings would simplify its business and improve its balance sheet.

The company said it got a "non-objection" from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for a capital plan that is subject to closing the sale. The plan authorizes CIT to return nearly $3 billion in stock to shareholders from proceeds of the sale, it said.

CIT's stock jumped $2.76 to $39.16 in extended trading after the announcement.

Leasing companies cater to airlines that prefer to lease planes rather than buy them. Many airlines operate a mix of owned and leased aircraft.

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