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STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) – General Electric Capital Corp. said Monday that it is buying Heller Financial Inc. for $5.3 billion in cash, the second-largest acquisition in GE history.

The move comes less than a month after European regulators blocked GE’s $41 billion acquisition of Honeywell International. It also follows a relatively quiet period for GE Capital, the Stamford-based financial services arm of GE.

GE Capital has assets of more than $370 billion with customers in 47 countries. Heller Financial has nearly $20 billion in assets with clients in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The deal would expand GE Capital’s involvement in equipment leasing and real estate finance which, along with commercial finance, are Heller’s primary businesses.

The boards of directors of both companies have approved the agreement.

The deal will be subject to European regulators, whose resistance to the Honeywell acquisition caught GE executives off guard. GE Capital officials were cautious in making any predictions, but did say they hope to close the deal by the end of the year.

GE officials said it’s too soon to predict job cuts.

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