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Cendant Board OKs Spinoff

The company's mortgage and fleet businesses will stand alone under the PHH name.
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said Thursday that its board had approved the spinoff of the company's mortgage and fleet businesses.

The spinoff will occur through Cendant's PHH subsidiary, which is expected to trade on the

New York Stock Exchange

under the symbol PHH.

"As we have said previously, the spinoff of our mortgage and fleet management operations represents a key step in Cendant's strategic plan to reduce complexity and focus solely on the travel and real estate services industries," the company said.

The distribution -- structured to qualify as a tax-free stock dividend.--will be payable on Jan. 31 to Cendant stockholders of record as of the close of business on Jan. 19. Cendant expects to distribute one share of PHH common stock for every 20 shares of Cendant common stock.

Cendant currently has five business segments, including hotel franchises, auto rentals and travel services. Recently, the company has been beefing up its online travel business by making two acquisitions.

Shares were 2 cents higher at $22.56..