Newspaper article The Billings Gazette (Billings, MT)

Future of GE Capital's Billings Center Unclear with Sale to Wells Fargo

Newspaper article The Billings Gazette (Billings, MT)

Future of GE Capital's Billings Center Unclear with Sale to Wells Fargo

Article excerpt

The fate of GE Capital in Billings, a major Big Sky Economic Development coup with about 190 jobs, remains up in the air following the company's pending sale to Wells Fargo & Co., local officials said Friday.

Steve Arveschoug, director of Big Sky Economic Development, said he has communicated with General Electric officials through email in the past few days and plans to speak with them by telephone Monday.

"I don't know the exact impact. I do know that GE has been working on options to keep jobs in Billings," Arveschoug told The Gazette on Friday.

On Tuesday, GE announced it was planning to sell its commercial lending and leasing businesses, including the Billings facility, to Wells Fargo for $30 billion. The move was not unexpected after the company announced in April plans to reduce its capital financing business to focus more on core manufacturing operations.

Big Sky owns the $9.3 million, 40,000-square-foot building on Hesper Road that houses the GE Capital Billings Center of Excellence. The agency worked out a 12-year lease in 2009 to cover its debt obligations and maintenance. …

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