GE Commercial Finance has appointed Michael McGonigle as managing director of trade accounts receivable securitization within its corporate lending business. McGonigle will head up the team that focuses on providing financing of $75 million or more to corporate borrowers by securitizing trade receivables. The new appointee was most recently managing director within GE Corporate Lending responsible for providing junior capital debt solutions to clients. Before this, he was managing director of GE Bank Loans, leading a team handling distressed bank debt investing and loan participations. McGonigle joined GE in 1982, and has held different positions within the organization, including loan origination, underwriting and risk management. "With years of corporate finance experience, Mike and his team are uniquely qualified to help clients gain smarter capital through this alternative source of financing," said Tom Quindlen, president and CEO of GE Corporate Lending.

The Blackstone Group is purchasing Equity Office Properties (EOP) for $20 billion. As part of the acquisition, Blackstone will also assume $16 billion in debt. According to CMBS analysts from Merrill Lynch, this merger will be the largest takeover of a real estate company in history. The purchase price is equivalent to 8.5% premium over EOP's Nov. 17's closing stock price and is also a 20.5% premium above the firm's three month average closing price. Merrill further said that this $36 billion transaction overshadows other major leveraged buyouts that were announced this year, including the $33 billion acquisition of HCA, which is the biggest U.S. hospital chain. In terms of EOP's CMBS exposure, Merrill Lynch said that the acquired company has only, on occasion, used the CMBS markets for financing. Additionally, Merrill analysts also said that only a comparatively small amount of EOP's assets are encumbered by securitized debt.

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