Cendant Cancels Providian Merger

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Membership services direct marketer Cendant, Parsippany, NJ, has terminated its agreement to acquire Providian Auto and Home Insurance Co., Frazer, PA, because conditions to closing the acquisition had not been met.


HFS Inc., which merged with CUC International to form Cendant, originally agreed to acquire Providian on Dec. 12, 1997, for $219 million in cash. Cendant chose not to extend the termination date of the agreement, saying that Providian no longer met its acquisition criteria. Providian sells insurance through direct response channels.


Cendant has completed just one acquisition -- of National Parking Corp. Ltd. -- since the disclosure of accounting irregularities in April and the subsequent restatement of earnings. Acquisitions of American Bankers Insurance and the Royal Automobile Club are pending.

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