J.C. PENNEY TO SELL ITS MARKETING SERVICES DIVISION

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In a move to pay down debt, J.C. Penney Co. agreed to sell its direct marketing services division for $1.3 billion to the U.S. subsidiary of AEGON, an insurance and financial services company based in The Hague, Netherlands. The deal, which is scheduled to be completed during the second quarter, also involves a 15-year marketing alliance between the companies to offer expanded financial and member services to the retailer's customers. A Deutsche Bank report predicts the sale of the direct marketing unit, the company's most profitable business, will help bring in needed short-term cash but that the company's revenue growth potential will continue to suffer given the difficult retail environment.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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