It looks like Associates First Capital will tap the asset-backed market again soon.

Via Arcadia Financial's subprime auto-loan portfolio, Associates will bring its first public term securitization to market since being acquired by Citigroup late last year.

Associates has been on the sidelines of the asset-backed world following the news of the merger, and has not done a deal since September of last year. When the merger was announced, some market players wondered whether or not Associates would still be a frequent name in the ABS market, with the financial strength of Citigroup behind it.

According to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, the Arcadia deal will be structured as five A-class notes, and the issuer will retain the A-1 piece, similar to Associates' last auto deal in September.

It is expected that Salomon Smith Barney, also a member of Citigroup, will benefit as lead manager on all of Associate's deals.

Associates acquired Arcadia Financial in the latter half of 1999. Since 1996, Arcadia had been in the market almost quarterly. Associates kept the wheel rolling last year, securitizing the Arcadia portfolio twice in the third quarter for more than $1.5 billion in proceeds, according to Thomson Financial Securities Data.

Associates last came to market with a $700 million credit card deal via Chase Securities (now J.P. Morgan Chase).

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