Source Pravda.Ru

HSBC buys U.S. Metris

HSBC, the UK-based banking giant, said Thursday it agreed to buy American credit card firm Metris for $1.59 billion to expand further into the US credit card industry.

Common shareholders of Metris will receive about $911.1 million, or about $15 per share, the two companies said Thursday in a joint statement.

HSBC also will pay $682.6 million to buy out the preferred stock in Metris held by Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, a private-equity firm, Xinhua reports.

The purchase is the third of a large U.S. credit card company in recent months, after Bank of America's $35 billion purchase of MBNA, and Washington Mutual's takeover of Providian Financial for $6.45 billion.

HSBC Finance is the sixth-largest U.S. issuer of MasterCard and Visa cards, while Metris is the 11th biggest.

The Metris purchase will increase the size of the London-based bank's credit-card business in the U.S. by almost a third.

The purchase is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and resolution of a possible US Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement action over Metris' accounting in 2001 for loan losses.

Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases

Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
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