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HSBC Completes Acquisition of Metris Companies

by Peter Andrew
HSBC Completes Acquisition of Metris Companies

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HSBC Finance Corporation announced Thursday that its acquisition of credit card issuer Metris Companies has been completed.
HSBC paid Metris shareholders approximately $1.6 billion in cash. Each holder of Metris common stock received $15 a share. Metris got into serious financial problems in 2001 when its strategy of issuing cards to “sub-prime” consumers backfired amidst the severe economic slowdown. More recently, Metris had begun a turnaround predicated on lending to “near prime” customers — those with credit still below average, but not the bottom of the barerel.

Metris was formed in 1994 and became a public company in 1996. The company issues credit cards through Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank, N.A., a wholly-owned subsidiary headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. HSBC has not announced whether the same issuing process will continue, or if credit cards will be re-branded.

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