Citigroup seeks buyers for Brazilian credit card and consumer finance unit

US financial services group Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) is looking to divest the Credicard consumer finance unit of its Brazilian business as part of a plan to concentrate on its strongest operations, the Valor Economico newspaper said today without citing sources.

According to the report, Citigroup has opened a data room to possible suitors with preliminary information about the unit. Credicard, with some 7m clients, could draw interest from some of Brazil’s biggest players including Banco PanAmericano SA (SAO:BPNM4), part of Banco BTG Pactual SA, Valor said, adding that a price tag had not been determined yet.

A public relations executive for Citigroup refused to comment on market speculation, when contacted by Reuters.

Recently, Valor cited Citigroup’s chief country officer Helio Magalhaes as saying in an interview that the group did not plan to sell Credicard.

Citigroup’s PE arm invests $138m in the UK arm of Indian travel group Cox & Kings

Indian travel and tours company Cox & Kings Ltd (BOM:533144) announced today that CVCI Private Equity, part of US financial services giant Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), has agreed to pour about USD137.7m (EUR110.4m) into its British unit Prometheon Holdings (UK) Ltd.

The binding deal comes after the board of the Indian company approved in in May plans to raise further capital of up to USD140m through sale of Prometheon stock. Today, Cox & Kings said it will use the money mainly to retire some of the debt raised by Prometheon as part of its takeover of sector player Holidaybreak Plc in July 2011.

The newly-agreed transaction is subject to obtaining certain regulatory nods and on the fulfillment of customary conditions. Cox & Kings did not say when it expects to close it.

In June, the Economic Times quoted informed people as saying that the Indian company was holding talks with private equity funds like KKR & Co LP (NYSE:KKR), Bain Capital LLC, The Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG) and TPG Capital LP regarding the potential disposal of a minority stake in its British subsidiary. The newspaper’s list, however, did not include Citi’s venture capital arm.

Citigroup agrees to sell its UK and Ireland Diners Club operation

US financial services company Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) said on Monday it had inked a deal to dispose of its Diners club card issuing operation in the UK and Ireland to private investor group Affiniture Cards Ltd.

As part of the transaction, Affiniture Cards will purchase payment card accounts in the particular countries. The financial terms of the deal were not unveiled.

The move is in line with Citi’s goal to reduce the activities within its portfolio of non-core operating businesses and assets. The bank said it seeks to do so in an “economically rational manner” while generating long-term profitability from its core franchise. It did not provide any further details. The specific portfolio is being held by Citi Holdings.

According to the vendor, Affiniture Cards’ management team has a huge experience in the cards and payments sector.

Citigroup is a global bank with about 200m customer accounts and operations in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. The company specialises in offering consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction and wealth management services to consumers, corporations, governments and institutions.