CIT Group announced a series of strategic initiatives that are designed to advance the company’s transition to a U.S. commercial bank. The company announced that it would explore strategic alternatives for its $10 billion Commercial Air business, and sell its CIT Canada and CIT China businesses.

“Over the past five years we have made significant progress in transforming CIT,” said John A. Thain, chairman and chief executive officer. “Following the completion of our OneWest Bank acquisition, we have decided to explore the strategic alternatives for our Commercial Air business and to sell our non-transportation-related businesses in Canada and China. These strategic initiatives will position CIT for long-term success by further simplifying our bank-centric business model as we focus on meeting the financing needs of our U.S. small business and middle market customers. We believe these decisions will increase shareholder value.”

CIT maintains one of the leading commercial air franchises in the world with one of the youngest and most technologically advanced fleets. It owns, finances and manages a fleet of more than 350 commercial aircraft serving approximately 100 customers in 50 countries. It provides leasing and financing packages, including operating leases and structuring and advisory services, for commercial airlines worldwide.

These announcements will further advance CIT’s efforts to simplify and realign its business model and will substantially complete its exit from its international businesses.