Citigroup's OneMain Financial unit won U.S. antitrust approval for its sale to Springleaf Holdings after the companies agreed to sell branches.
Springleaf, the lender that counts Fortress Investment Group as its largest investor, agreed to sell 127 branches in 11 states to Lendmark Financial Services, according to court filings in Washington.
Springleaf jumped 3.5% to $45.76 before trading of the shares was halted at 10:03 a.m. in New York. The stock had climbed 22% this year through Thursday.
"Springleaf will take certain steps to ensure that the divestiture branches are operated as competitively independent, economically viable, and ongoing business concerns," the government said.
Without the sales, the $4.25 billion deal would have reduced choice for subprime borrowers, the Justice Department's antitrust division said.
The government's review came at a time when, thanks to the internet, subprime consumers have arguably never had more options for installment loans.
Both Springleaf and OneMain have regularly tapped the securitization market; both completed transactions September.