GE Capital to Acquire Most of Merrill Lynch Capital

    Deal, Expected to Close in First Quarter, Will Add More Than $15 Billion
in Assets and Commitments to GE Capital

    NORWALK, CONN. & NEW YORK, December 24 /CNW/ - GE Capital has agreed to
purchase most of Chicago-based Merrill Lynch Capital, Merrill Lynch and Co.,
Inc.'s (NYSE:   MER) wholly-owned middle-market commercial finance business.
Financial terms were not disclosed.

    The acquisition, expected to close in the first quarter of 2008, will add
more than $10 billion in assets and $5 billion in commitments to GE Capital
Commercial Finance's base of $260 billion - and adds to existing businesses GE
knows and knows how to operate.

    GE Capital will buy Merrill Lynch Capital's corporate finance, equipment
finance, franchise, energy and healthcare finance units. Merrill Lynch
Capital's commercial real estate finance unit is not part of the transaction.

    "These strong units fit perfectly with existing and very successful GE
Capital businesses," said Mike Neal, vice chairman of GE. "They are in
industries we know well, so the potential for growth is compelling. In
addition, this timely acquisition will expand our reach, and expand the value
we can offer customers."

    "This transaction reflects Merrill Lynch's continued strategic focus on
divesting non-core assets and optimizing capital allocation, while also
enabling the redeployment of approximately $1.3 billion of capital into other
parts of our business," said John A. Thain, chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch.

    GE Capital offers businesses around the globe an array of financial
products and services. It's Commercial Finance unit has assets of over $260
billion and is headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut. 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. GE serves
customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people
worldwide. For more information, visit

    Merrill Lynch is one of the world's leading wealth management, capital
markets and advisory companies, with offices in 38 countries and territories
and total client assets of almost $2.0 trillion. As an investment bank, it is
a leading global trader and underwriter of securities and derivatives across a
broad range of asset classes and serves as a strategic advisor to
corporations, governments, institutions and individuals worldwide. Merrill
Lynch owns approximately half of BlackRock, one of the world's largest
publicly traded investment management companies, with more than $1 trillion in
assets under management. For more information on Merrill Lynch, please visit

For further information:

For further information: Media: GE Capital John Oliver, 203-749-6384
Mobile: 203-984-7757 or Merrill Lynch Jessica Oppenheim, 212-449-2107 Mobile:

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