Cash-strapped General Motors is selling Horsham, Penn.-based GMAC, the company’s commercial mortgage arm. Wednesday, a group of investors, led by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), began acquiring a 60% stake in company. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The other investors are Goldman Sachs and Five Mile Capital. General Motors will retain a 40% stake.

In 2004, GMAC arranged $5.4 billion in commercial loans, ranking it seventh on NREI’s recent list of the top 25 financial intermediaries in commercial real estate. In the same year, the mortgage lender also financed $17.1 billion in real estate, placing it fourth on the list of top 25 direct lenders for the year. The company posted record net income of $2.9 billion in 2004 and expects a net income of $2.5 billion this year.

The parent company, General Motors, however, lost $2.2 billion through the end of June this year. Two years ago, the troubled automaker attempted to sell the asset for as much as $2 billion. An agreement was reportedly reached in 2004 with Deutsche Bank AG, but ultimately fell through.

This will be KKR’s second foray into the commercial real estate mortgage industry this year. In June, KKR launched private mortgage REIT KKR Financial Corp. through an $800 million IPO. The San Francisco-based real estate finance firm controls roughly $7 billion in assets, according to the firm’s website.

Manhattan-based KKR is best known for its $31 billion takeover of RJR Nabisco in 1989, which stands as the world’s biggest leveraged buyout. KKR currently owns NREI’s parent company, New York-based media company Primedia.