Circuit City Stores, Inc. is considering accessing the asset-backed market this year with a private-label credit card deal - backed by the company's own cards - which would mark Circuit City's first transaction of this type since 1996.

Though Circuit City declined to comment, a source familiar with this and previous transactions said, "The reason they haven't done one of these since 1996, is that this would be an asset-backed deal to refinance the payout of series 1994-2, which was issued at the end of 1994."

In addition to the $350 million deal in 1994, the company has issued to the public market twice out of the Circuit City Credit Card Master Trust. The most recent deal, worth nearly $200 million, priced in November of 1996.

First North American National Bank, the financing operation of Circuit City, will service the loan portfolio, according to a recent shelf filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The filing also describes a senior/subordinate structure - with A-class and B-class notes.

FNANB, no stranger to the ABS market, has done two public credit card deals worth close to $1.5 billion combined, the most recent just over a year ago. The FNANB deals, however, are backed by a Visa/Mastercard loan pool, as opposed to a private label card portfolio.

In October of 1999, Circuit City's Carmax entered the ABS market for the first time, pricing a $650 million auto loan-backed deal that was structured in five parts: with A1-A4 class notes plus certificates. The transaction, which was managed by Banc of America Securities, was guaranteed by MBIA Insurance Corp.

Circuit City and First North American have worked with both Bank of America and now subsidiary NationsBank Montgomery Securities for the majority of past transactions.

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