GE Consumer Finance to Acquire 49.99 Percent Interest in BAC International Bank Inc.; BAC is a Leading Credit Card Issuer in Central America

STAMFORD, Conn.--()--May 12, 2005--GE Consumer Finance, one of the largest consumer lending businesses in North America, today announced that it would acquire a 49.99 percent stake in BAC International Bank Inc. (BAC), a privately held retail bank and credit card issuer based in Panama City, Panama. The transaction, which requires regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the next few months. The terms were not disclosed.

BAC is one of the largest banks in Central America and has been operating in the region for over 50 years. BAC has 178 branches in countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The new partnership between GE Consumer Finance and BAC will enable the two companies to deliver enhanced consumer credit products to the growing Central American financial services market.

"We believe the combination of GE Consumer Finance's broad global experience and BAC's established position in Central America will allow us to accelerate growth opportunities for both of us in this strategically important emerging market," said Mark W. Begor, president and CEO, GE Consumer Finance-Americas. "This new partnership will help us expand our business in Central America, and we're excited to be able to work with a team as successful and respected as BAC."

Founded in 1952, BAC has about $1.9 billion in deposits; $1.7 billion in consumer credit card loans, mortgages, and auto, small business, corporate and commercial loans; and has over 8,000 employees. BAC's Credomatic subsidiary is a leading debit and credit card issuer in the region.

"By combining with one of the world leading financial services companies, and one of the world's most respected brands, we believe we can expand our offerings of products and services to consumers across Central America," said BAC Chairman Carlos Pellas.

Ernesto Castegnaro, BAC president and CEO, added, "We look forward to immediately starting work with GE Consumer Finance on this exciting new chapter in BAC's growth and development."

"BAC has a strong and respected management team, and they have built a solid financial services business in Central America," said Glen Wakeman, president and CEO for GE Consumer Finance in Latin America. "We're excited about the bank's prospects for future growth. This partnership is a great opportunity to add our global perspective and know-how to the local communities served by BAC."

Credit Suisse First Boston advised BAC in the deal.

About GE Consumer Finance

With more than $151 billion in assets, GE Consumer Finance, a unit of General Electric Company, is a leading provider of credit services to consumers, retailers and auto dealers in 41 countries around the world. GE Consumer Finance, based in Stamford, Conn. (USA), offers a range of financial products, including private label credit cards, personal loans, bank cards, auto loans and leases, mortgages, corporate travel and purchasing cards, debt consolidation and home equity loans and credit insurance. More information can be found online at www.geconsumerfinance.com.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is Imagination at Work -- a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world's toughest problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and advanced materials, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com.

Contacts

GE Consumer Finance
Mike Ettlemyer, 203-585-6791
michael.ettlemyer@ge.com

Contacts

GE Consumer Finance
Mike Ettlemyer, 203-585-6791
michael.ettlemyer@ge.com