Dallas-based Associates First Capital Corp. has closed the sale of 41 of its 300 branches in Canada to Citigroup's CitiFinancial Canada Inc. Of the branches involved, 28 are from Associates' takeover of rival Avco Consumer Finance Network earlier this year, and were being sold "on decisions about strengths and future opportunities" in the markets where the storefront branches were located, said Associates spokeswoman Diane Wolfenden.

Sources at Citi said although the consumer lending assets involved are not "the first choice" for its securitization efforts, the market could expect a deal from the assets, likely in the coming year and likely to be done in American markets versus Canadian.

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