First Data Corp. plans to sell its $93 million of credit card receivables to Banc One Corp.

The portfolio consists of private-label cards that First Data began acquiring in 1991 when it was owned by American Express Co.

First Data said it wants to concentrate on its core processing businesses.

"The impetus behind the sale is to get out of the receivables business," said First Data spokesman Peter Ziverts.

The company's Englewood, Colo.-based retail services division said it signed a sale agreement with Banc One Private Label Credit Services, Dayton, Ohio. The portfolio is composed mostly of accounts with clothing and auto parts retailers.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Mr. Ziverts said that First Data expects the sale to be completed within two months.

First Data currently processes approximately 35 million private-label retail and oil credit card accounts - including the one million it is selling - plus more than 15 million MasterCard and Visa accounts, Mr. Ziverts said.

"I'm only surprised that it took First Data this long to sell the receivables," said Robert K. Hammer, a Newbury Park, Calif., investment banker who focuses on portfolio sales.

Mr. Hammer said that by owning card receivables, First Data could be perceived as competing with its own customers.

Banc One Private Label Credit Services is a leading provider of credit card services to retailers, with more than six million accounts.

"For Banc One, this purchase represents a significant extension of a strategically important business," said Tom Winning, president of the private label unit.

"In addition to adding to our receivables of approximately $2 billion, this acquisition expands our existing presence in the automotive category."

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