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Primerica financial services and insurance unit is going public.

Primerica filed a registration statement with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

on Thursday for the initial public offering, saying it plans to raise as much as $100 million.

Primerica distributes financial products to middle income households in North America through approximately 100,000 representatives, according to a release by Citi. Primerica underwrites term life insurance, as well as offering mutual funds, variable annuities, loans, among other financial products.

Primerica is one of several businesses listed under Citi's so-called bad bank, Citi Holdings. Citi has been looking to divest a number of assets it placed within its Citi Holdings' portfolio earlier this year. The unit -- separate from its core Citicorp operations -- holds a combination of brokerage, insurance, and lending businesses as well as a pool of toxic assets. The company has been successful at selling some businesses, such as its Japanese asset management operations, but not so much with others, like CitiFinancial and Primerica.

Citi said recently that it plans to sell its stake in the joint venture of its wealth management arm, Smith Barney and

Morgan Stanley

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"Today's announcement represents an important step in simplifying our organization and demonstrates our continued success in finding solutions for Citi Holdings, our non-core businesses," Citi Holdings CEO Michael Corbat said in a statement. "We believe this is the best separation alternative for this franchise."

Shares of Citi ended the day up 2.3% to $4.06.

"Becoming a public company is an opportunity to align the interests of our independent sales force and our employees with our future performance," Primerica co-CEO Rick Williams said.

Citi will continue to receive a significant stream of income from the Primerica business through reinsurance arrangements covering term life insurance policies in place as of December 31, 2009.

At the completion of the offering, Citi intends to divest its remaining interest in Primerica as soon as is practicable, it said.

All of the shares to be sold in the offering -- a number that is as yet undetermined -- will be sold by Citi, and the company is acting as sole book-running manager for the proposed sale.

--Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.