MBNA to buy credit-card portfolio in Va.; Consumer credit

THE BALTIMORE SUN

WILMINGTON, Del. -- MBNA Corp., the third-biggest U.S. credit-card issuer, agreed yesterday to buy the $103 million credit-card portfolio of First Virginia Banks Inc. of Falls Church, its second acquisition since December.

First Virginia, the state's biggest independent bank, said it expects an after-tax gain of $11 million, or 22 cents a share, from the transaction. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

MBNA and other top credit-card companies are rapidly buying up the card businesses of regional banks who lack the size to operate efficiently in the competitive business.

MBNA of Wilmington, Del., has acquired about 25 credit-card portfolios in the past year, most of them about the size of First Virginia's, said Brian Dalphon, MBNA investor relations director. It agreed in December to buy PNC Bank Corp.'s $2.9 billion credit-card portfolio.

"We are actively in the market looking at portfolios and we're finding good, high-quality portfolios," Dalphon said.

MBNA will offer credit cards to First Virginia customers using the bank's brand names.

Pub Date: 3/12/99

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