General Electric Co. is trying to sell the asset management arm that oversees the company’s pension plan as it continues to cut back on non-manufacturing operations.

GE wants “buyers that possess considerable experience managing retirement plan assets" as it looks to shed GE Asset Management, according to a statement Thursday. The unit has $115 billion under management, including the company’s own plans and portfolios of clients around the globe, GE said.

GE Asset Management, separate from the GE Capital lending arm, is being hived off as Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt narrows his focus on industrial operations making products such as oilfield equipment and jet engines. GE is selling the bulk of the banking unit, which imperiled the company during the financial crisis.

Proceeds of the sale will be put into the pension trust. The transaction won’t change the benefits received by participants in GE’s pension plan or any requirement to meet funding obligations, the company said. Fairfield, Connecticut- based GE will remain sponsor of the plan.  

GE said it expects the buyer to acquire the division’s assets and most employees. Credit Suisse Group AG is representing the company in the sale.

The news follows Immelt's decision to shed GE Capital, including the Antares unit (now called Antares Capital), which lends to private equity-backed middle-market companies and was sold to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in a deal that closed in August. For details on that sale, see For GE Capital's Coveted Antares Unit, New Owner Means Expansion Beyond Senior Debt

--Additional reporting by Allison Collins.

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