MBNA acquires credit-card portfolio of U.K. company

Purchase price reported to be $350 million

August 02, 2002|By William Patalon III | William Patalon III,SUN STAFF

MBNA Corp., the credit-card issuer with a key location in Hunt Valley, said yesterday its MBNA Europe Bank Ltd. unit had acquired the $1.2 billion credit-card portfolio of Alliance & Leicester PLC, one of the United Kingdom's top financial-service firms.

The deal will have no impact on the firm's local operations, said a spokesman for MBNA, which is based in Wilmington, Del.

Under the agreement, MBNA will own all of A&L's credit-card receivables and will manage the credit-card program, maintaining the A&L brand. It also will assume the responsibilities for customer service and future business decisions.

The purchase price was a reported $350 million. The business will be managed out of A&L's facilities in Chester, England.

MBNA said it now has more than a 14 percent market share of all credit card receivables in the United Kingdom and 19 percent in Ireland.

"The quality of the A&L card portfolio is exceptional," Bruce L. Hammonds, the chief executive officer of MBNA America Bank NA, said in a statement. "A&L cardholders have many of the same superior characteristics as existing MBNA cardholders. At the same time, there's terrific potential for growing the portfolio, which we'll do by offering a wider range of products and services."

MBNA's headquarters for the mid-Atlantic region are in Hunt Valley, where the company does telemarketing, customer-service work, new business development and other tasks for this part of the country. The office opened in April 1997 and employs about 1,800, MBNA spokesman Jim Donahue said.

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