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GE unit in talks to buy Milestone Aviation: WSJ

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[October 11, 2014]  (Reuters) - General Electric Co's <GE.N> finance arm is in talks to buy Milestone Aviation Group Ltd, as the U.S. conglomerate looks to expand its aircraft-leasing operation into helicopters, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The purchase price for Milestone could be more than $2.5 billion, according to some of the people, the Journal reported.

Milestone, co-founded by NetJets Inc founder Richard Santulli, has announced plans for an initial public offering of stock, according to the report.

Buying Milestone, the world's largest helicopter-leasing company by fleet value, would broaden GE Capital Aviation Services' portfolio beyond the competitive plane-leasing business, as it currently owns no helicopters, the Journal said.

"As a matter of policy, we don't comment on market rumors or speculation," a spokeswoman for Milestone Aviation said.

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Officials at General Electric were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting By Manya Venkatesh in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)

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