Springleaf Holdings has changed its name to OneMain Holdings after buying its top competitor from Citigroup for $4.49 billion.
Before the sale, Springleaf and Citi's OneMain Financial unit were the two largest U.S. subprime consumer installment lenders, with a combined 2.5 million customers in 43 states.
The purchase was delayed by antitrust authorities, but it closed Sunday after Springleaf, of Evansville, Ind., agreed to sell 127 branches in 11 states. Springleaf plans to sell the branches to Lendmark Financial Services of Covington, Ga., in a deal that it expects to close next year.
The combined company now has a branch within 25 miles of 87% of the U.S. population, Springleaf said in an investor presentation. That's a wider geographic reach than any bank, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America or JPMorgan Chase, the company stated.
"Today, 78% of Americans are believed to be living paycheck to paycheck without a meaningful safety net," Springleaf Chief Executive Jay Levine said Friday during a conference call with analysts. "Large banks and others in our industry have largely retreated from lending to this segment."
The merged company also has a fledgling online lending unit, called iLoan, which competes against marketplace lenders such as Avant for borrowers.
For Citigroup, the sale represents another step in the unwinding of Citi Holdings, which was established after the financial crisis to hold business that Citi hoped to sell.
"The sale of OneMain marks an important milestone in the execution of our strategy and our evolution into a simpler and smaller company that is focused on our core businesses of institutional and consumer banking," Citi CEO Michael Corbat said in a press release.
Springleaf trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "LEAF." The combined company is expected to start trading under the symbol "OMF" later this month.