HSBC Finance Corporation to acquire Metris Companies

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HSBC Finance Corporation and Metris Companies Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement for HSBC Finance to acquire Metris in an all-cash transaction which values Metris at US$1.594 billion. Upon completion, Metris will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Finance.

HSBC Finance, headquartered in Prospect Heights, Illinois, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, is the sixth largest issuer of MasterCard and Visa cards in the nation. Metris, with headquarters in Minnetonka, Minnesota and offices in five states, is the 11th largest issuer of MasterCard and Visa cards in the United States with managed receivables of approximately US$5.9 billion. Metris primarily serves the near-prime credit card market through direct mail and partnership affiliations.

"HSBC Finance is a major provider of near-prime consumer finance credit in the United States and this acquisition deepens our capabilities to serve the full spectrum of credit card customers," said Bobby Mehta, Chairman and CEO of HSBC Finance Corporation. "We are very familiar with Metris and its management team and look forward to the integration of its business within HSBC."

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.

"Being part of a world-class organisation such as HSBC is a logical step following our successful turnaround of the business," said David Wesselink, Chairman and CEO of Metris. "HSBC and Metris will make a terrific combination, continuing to serve the needs of our customers."

Read the stock exchange announcement (4 page pdf 26k).

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