GCI nets bid for GE Capital health and rail services units

CHICAGO: GCI Group has won a four-agency shootout to become the PR agency for two Chicago-based units of GE Capital.

CHICAGO: GCI Group has won a four-agency shootout to become the PR agency for two Chicago-based units of GE Capital.

GE Capital Healthcare Financial Services and GE Capital Rail Services had been interviewing firms jointly, narrowing their search from seven agencies to GCI, Ogilvy, Cushman/ Amberg Communications, and HLB Communications.

"GCI seemed to fit the best to our working style. They had done a lot of research on our industries up front," said Sheila O'Malley, manager of communications with GE Capital Rail.

On the healthcare side, GCI has already handled media relations for a recent trade show. Its ongoing efforts will stress the wide array of services the GE healthcare unit offers, O'Malley said. GCI's work with the rail unit will emphasize its position as the industry leader.

O'Malley expects five to six GCI staffers to work on the healthcare business and four or five on the rail business.

In July, GE Capital was reorganized into four financial-services units. GE Capital Healthcare Financial Services became part of the new GE Commercial Finance unit as a result.

GE Capital Rail became part of GE Equipment Management. Both are based in Chicago, where in 2001, GE bought Heller Financial, a commercial finance, equipment leasing, and real-estate finance company, for $5.3 billion. Heller worked with HLB prior to its purchase.

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