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Charming to sell private label credit-card program


Bensalem, Pa. Charming Shoppes said Thursday that it will sell its private-label credit-card program to Alliance Data Systems Corp. for about $110 million.

The acquisition includes Charming's private-label credit-card portfolio and certain assets and liabilities required to support the cards.

The two companies also signed a 10-year operating deal related to the program's servicing.

Alliance will take over the credit-card programs of stores such as Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines. It will be responsible for providing services such as account acquisition and activation; card authorization; private-label credit-card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing; customer-service functions and marketing services, and receivables funding.

Alliance expects to run Charming's existing Milford, Ohio facility when the acquisition closes to keep continuity in customer service and collections.

Charming anticipates the transaction will help to lower its debt by about $110 million to approximately $50 million as of third quarter's end.

The deal is targeted to close before year's end.

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