Citigroup Trades Part for Sake of the Whole

Citigroup Inc plans to sell or spin-off its $10 billion Citi Private Equity unit in order to cut its debt.

Citigroup made the decision to sell the unit last year, before President Barack Obama announced his plan to limit financial risk-taking by banks. That plan could force banks to shed parts of their private equity operations.

One person familiar with the matter told reporters that managers of the unit have discussed buying it out themselves with partners or other financing.

The unit oversees about $2 billion of Citi's money, with the remainder coming from outside investors according to the report.

Citigroup spokeswoman Shannon Bell declined to comment on the matter, when contacted by Reuters.

Citigroup Inc., is a major American financial services company based in New York, NY.

Citigroup Inc. has the world's largest financial services network, spanning 140 countries with approximately 16,000 offices worldwide. The company employs approximately 300,000 staff around the world, and holds over 200 million customer accounts in more than 140 countries. It is a primary dealer in US Treasury securities.

Citigroup suffered huge losses during the global financial crisis of 2008 and was rescued in November 2008 in a massive bailout by the U.S. government. Its largest shareholders include funds from the Middle East and Singapore. On February 27, 2009, Citigroup announced that the United States government would be taking a 36% equity stake in the company by converting $25 billion in emergency aid into common shares.

Citigroup is one of the Big Four banks in the United States, along with Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Reuters has contributed to the report.

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