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UPDATE 1-Starwood to buy a part of GE Capital's energy finance business for $2.56 bln

(Corrects headline and first paragraph to say Starwood is buying a part of GE Capital's energy finance services, not the entire unit)

Aug 8 (Reuters) - Starwood Property Trust Inc said on Wednesday it will buy a part of GE Capital's energy finance business for $2.56 billion, as part of a plan to shrink itself into a smaller, more focused business.

The 126-year-old industrial conglomerate has been divesting assets worth billions from its GE Capital unit since 2015 to focus on jet engines, power plants and renewable energy.

The agreement with Starwood also includes the transfer of a team of employees, GE Capital said.

The deal, expected to close in the third quarter, will add to Starwood's core earnings, the real estate investment trust said.

GE shares were marginally higher in premarket trading on Wednesday.

Citigroup Global Markets was financial adviser to GE Capital, and Shearman & Sterling LLP provided legal advice. Sidley Austin LLP and Paul Hastings LLP were legal advisers to Starwood. (Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)