Capital One Said to Be in Talks to Acquire Discover

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The lender Capital One is in talks to acquire Discover Financial Services, two people with knowledge of the negotiations said, in a deal that would combine two of the largest credit card companies in the United States.

The deal, which is not yet final, could be announced as soon as this week, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations were confidential. A price could not be immediately confirmed, but Discover Financial Services was valued at about $28 billion when the market closed on Friday. Capital One was valued at about $52 billion.

Capital One and Discover did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Bloomberg earlier reported on the potential deal.

Acquiring Discover would give Capital One access to a new credit card network of some 305 million cardholders. The country’s four major networks are American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Discover, which has far fewer than competitors like Visa and Mastercard.

In June, Capital One acquired Velocity Black, a digital concierge company that brings together travel, entertainment, shopping and dining offerings for consumers.

Discover is emerging from a period of turbulence. The company’s former chief executive, Roger Hochschild, stepped down in August amid a regulatory review of incorrectly classified credit accounts. In October, the company said it was taking steps to improve its corporate governance, and in December it announced its new chief executive, Michael G. Rhodes. The company’s profit in the fourth quarter of 2023 fell 62 percent from the same period the year before.

Rob Copeland contributed reporting.

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