Springleaf required to shed 127 branches to buy OneMain

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is ordering personal finance company Springleaf Holdings to shed 127 branches in 11 states in order to acquire OneMain Financial Holdings.

The required divestiture, announced Friday, would settle an antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department and attorneys general in seven states. The suit alleged that Springleaf's $4.25 billion acquisition of OneMain, a Citigroup subsidiary, could hurt competition because people with weak credit seeking personal loans would face fewer local market choices in 11 states.

Springleaf, based in Evansville, Indiana, and Baltimore's OneMain are the two biggest makers of personal installment loans to subprime borrowers in the U.S., according to the Justice Department. The loans are marketed to consumers with limited access to credit from conventional banks, and have fixed interest rates and payment periods.