Charming Shoppes Inc. has closed on the sale of its private-label credit card portfolio to Alliance Data Systems Inc. for $166 million.

Alliance Data, of Dallas, also agreed to issue cards to Charming Shoppes' customers for the next 10 years, the retailer said.

The portfolio consists of $500 million of receivables from 4.5 million active cardholders.

Few retailers still own credit card businesses.

The remaining holdouts include Target Corp., Nordstrom Inc. and Cabela's Inc.; Target sold a minority stake in its receivables to JPMorgan Chase & Co. last year.

Like Target, Charming Shoppes, a Bensalem, Pa., retailer of plus-size women's apparel, had long maintained that its credit card operation was an integral part of its core business.

The company purchased card portfolios from Citigroup Inc. in 2005 and from Alliance Data in 2007.

But last year, Charming Shoppes resolved a proxy fight with a dissident shareholder group that had pressured Charming Shoppes to explore the sale of its card operations and other noncore assets.

The company agreed to support the nomination of two representatives from the dissident group and two former retailing executives to its board.

In August, Charming Shoppes announced the deal with Alliance Data.

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