NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Citigroup ( C) is seeking buyers for CitiFinancial, the largest consumer finance company in the U.S., the Financial Times reports.

People close to the situation told the newspaper that after months of restructuring, Citigroup had begun contacting potential buyers for CitiFinancial. Likely bidders include private-equity groups and other finance companies.The talks were at an early stage and no deal was imminent.

Citigroup declined to comment for the Financial Times.

Wall Street executives who have looked at the business said CitiFinancial could be sold for up to $1 billion, but added the final price would depend on the financing package Citigroup offers to potential buyers to help fund the business.

CitiFinancial has more than 1,500 branches and about 2 million customers. It was hurt during the financial crisis as the lower-income people it targeted defaulted on personal and residential loans and funding markets froze, the Financial Times reports.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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