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Focusing on Retail, Sears Sells Credit Op To Citigroup for $32B

Sears is selling its lucrative credit card business, the nation’s sixth largest, to Citigroup for about $32 billion.

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Sears’ domestic credit card business includes 59 million total accounts, 23 million of which are active. The program weighs in as the eighth largest in the U.S.

Sears said that the roughly 8,300 employees of its credit business will become part of Citigroup.

In March, Sears called for suitors for its credit card business, which had been through a rocky period last fall when the firm registered a large, unexpected credit-related charge that dragged down earnings. Lacy subsequently dismissed one of its top executives over questions of personal credibility in terms that led the executive, Kevin Keleghan, to file a defamation lawsuit against Lacy, his former boss.

Last week, as reported, Keleghan, received approval to proceed with his defamation lawsuit against Lacy, but the circuit court judge allowed only two of Lacy’s statements to proceed to trial, one asserting that Keleghan “wasn’t forthcoming about the issues” in the division’s rising delinquent accounts and that he had “become a barrier” to the ceo’s ability to obtain accurate information about the credit card business.

Sears is expected to report second-quarter earnings results on Thursday.
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