Household International Inc. is becoming a player in subprime auto lending. It said Monday it would buy ACC Consumer Finance Corp. for a whopping 6.6 times book value.

Household, which analysts say has been trying to build its own subprime auto finance unit for several years, paid $200 million in cash and stock, or 18 times estimated 1997 earnings, for ACC, a San Diego auto lender. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

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