After months of shopping its mortgage business,



ended talks Tuesday with an unnamed potential buyer.

The company said in a press release Tuesday afternoon that it is continuing to try to sell the business, through it expects to remain involved in mortgages through its residential real estate, relocation and settlement services operations. The New York services conglomerate said it expects to continue to receive bids and hold talks about the unit.

Cendant has been looking to get out of the mortgage business because it doesn't consider it a core holding. Cendant also owns Avis rental car, the Century 21 real estate business and Ramada Inn, among other properties.

reported in March that a pair of Wall Street giants had passed on an opportunity to take the unit ofg Cendant's hands. An investment banking source said the country's two biggest financial services firms,


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J.P. Morgan Chase

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, chose not to bid on Cendant's mortgage-lending operation.

At the time, some observers surmised that the only remaining likely bidder on Cendant's billion-dollar portfolio was fast-growing mortgage outfit



. Various media outlets reported in July that Cendant was near a deal to sell its mortgage operations to Countrywide in a transaction that would net about $1 billion after debt repayment.

reported in March that Cendant had hired Goldman Sachs last year to find a buyer for the unit, which is the nation's 10th-largest residential lender. In December,

National Mortgage News

, an industry trade publication, first reported that Cendant had put its mortgage business on the block.

Cendant shares slipped 18 cents Tuesday to $21.58.