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Exclusive: GE looking to sell healthcare financing unit - sources

By Jessica Toonkel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Electric Co is looking to sell its CareCredit healthcare financing business - a unit within its massive GE Capital financial arm - in a deal that may be valued at about $2 billion, people familiar with the situation told Reuters on Friday.

GE has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc to oversee the sale process and has attracted buyout interest from a few banks as well as at least one nonbank financial services firm, according to the four sources, who wished to remain anonymous because they are not permitted to speak to the media.

A Goldman spokesman declined to comment. Calls and emails to GE and CareCredit were not immediately returned.

In May, GE CEO Jeff Immelt said the company is considering spinning off parts of GE Capital through an initial public offering as part of its plan to reduce the size of its business. The U.S. conglomerate is seeking to shrink its financial services division from $419 billion in December to $300 billion to $350 billion by end of 2014.

GE's CareCredit unit offers short-term financing to consumers for healthcare expenses not covered by insurance. The division, which was founded in 1987, offers a credit card that can be used for expenses including dental care, eyeglasses and even veterinary medicine.

Shares of GE were down 0.3 percent at $23.25 on Friday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Matthew Lewis)