Alliance Data Systems, the newly formed processor of private-label cards, acquired the portfolio of National City Card Services, a division of National City Bank.

The portfolio is worth $400 million, and its accounts include J. Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren, Wickes Lumber, and Value City Furniture.

Jim Gilmour, chairman of National City Card Services, said the bank decided to exit the private-label credit card business and focus on its regional bank card portfolio.

The Nilson Report, the Oxnard, Calif. industry newsletter, reported that Alliance outbid GE Capital and Associates First Capital for the portfolio.

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems was formed at the end of 1996 by merging Business Services Holdings Inc., a former J.C. Penney unit, and World Financial Network National Bank, owner of retailer The Limited's credit card bank. Alliance is jointly owned by investment firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and The Limited.

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