Private Equity Giants Battle Over Citi Lending Biz.

May 12 2011 | 1:54pm ET

Three private equity-led investor groups remain in the running to buy Citigroup's consumer-lending business.

The latest entrant into the sweepstakes for the former CitiFinancial is holding company Leucadia National Corp., which has joined forces with Centerbridge Capital Partners. The two New York-based firms, like their competitors, are currently doing their due diligence on the unit, which has lost about $1.3 billion over the past two years.

Also battling for the business, now called OneMain, are two other p.e. groups: One includes Brysam Global Partners, the Blackstone Group, the Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners, the other Apollo Management and J.C. Flowers & Co.

Citi, which decided to put the business up for sale after its 2008 government bailout, has rejected two other private equity bids: one made by Cerberus Capital Management, the other by Clayton Dubilier & Rice and Onex Corp. In addition, private equity legend Wilbur Ross dropped out of the Blackstone-Carlyle group.

Citi has valued the business at $2 billion.

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