General Electric Co. plans to exit the bulk of its lending business, including a $26.5 billion sale of most of its real estate, as Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt refocuses the company on its industrial roots.

In the broadest restructuring since the GE Capital unit destabilized GE during the 2008-09 financial crisis, the company said it will keep only those operations that support its manufacturing arms and dispose of its middle-market lending business and all consumer platforms. GE Capital, the largest lender to the middle market, won Mergers & Acquisitions M&A Mid-Market Lender of the Year Award for 2014 after it added a second mid-market lending unit and increased loans made for private equity platform acquisitions by 55 percent. 

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