Citigroup will pay $1.25 billion to acquire the consumer lending unit of Washington Mutual.The Tampa, Fla.-based unit provides consumer installment and real estate loans from some 400 offices located mostly in smaller communities in the Southeastern and Southwestern United States. As of Sept. 30, the subsidiary had $4.1 billion of assets. WaMu chief executive officer Kerry Killinger said the sale of this business "at an attractive premium" will allow WaMu to use its capital for core growth businesses. He said the subsidiary's mostly smaller-market focus differed from the parent company's strategy of targeting larger urban and suburban markets. WaMu can be found online at http://www.wamu.com.

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