HACKENSACK, N.J. -- First Data Corp., the parent of the nation's largest credit card account processor, will acquire the money transfer and payment service businesses of Western Union Financial Services Inc. for $595 million.

Western Union's principal line of business is money transfer, which provides consumers offices from which they can electronically send and receive funds transfers.

New Valley Corp., the Paramus, N.J.-based company that owns Western Union, is selling the unit as part of an attempt to pull itself out of Chapter 11.

As part of the deal, First Data will assume the unfunded liability of the Western Union defined benefit pension plan.

First Data will also honor the union contract struck between New Valley and the communication workers employed by Western Union.

The deal needs the approval of antitrust regulators and a Federal bankruptcy court.

The Western Union business is seen as complementary to the other electronic transaction processing services owned by First Data, which is based in Hackensack, N.J.

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