NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- General Electric (GE) said on Tuesday that it will sell its private-equity lending unit for about $12 billion.

The move comes as part of GE's strategy to exit the majority of its finance businesses, worth around $500 billion. The Connecticut-based company is working to re-establish its core industrial business of making equipment and specialized machinery.

GE will sell its U.S. Sponsor Finance Business to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, with a bank loan portfolio worth $3 billion. The European sector of the business will be sold separately.

Investors had been pressuring GE to sell its financing businesses because of increasing federal regulations and volatile market conditions. The company is looking to complete around $100 billion worth of sales by the end of 2015.

"This represents an important milestone as we continue to execute on our strategy to sell most of the assets of GE Capital," Keith Sherin, CEO of GE Capital, said.

"The value we will achieve through this transaction is a testament to the depth of talent and expertise of the Sponsor team and our ability to execute high-value transactions quickly," Sherin added.

GE's private-equity lending unit has over $10 billion worth of assets, including midsize company lender GE Antares. The move away from exposure to the financial sector backtracks on the diversification strategies of former CEO Jack Welch. The company has announced it will hold onto some financial assets that complement its core businesses.

Shares of GE were trading at $27.39, up 15 cents, on Tuesday afternoon.

The acquisition is the largest ever made by Canada's biggest pension fund, which manages the savings of 18 million Canadians.

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