H&R Block Sheds Subprime Unit

Shares climbed Friday after the tax-prep outfit said it had sold its Option One subsidiary in a complex deal

H&R Block's (HRB) CEO Mark A. Ernst had slapped a for-sale sign on Option One Mortgage Corp. back in November, confident he could get $1.3 billion for it, but then the months passed with no formal bids (see BusinessWeek.com, 3/15/07, "Option One's Dwindling Options"). Now the tax preparer on Apr. 20 announced a complex agreement involving the sale of the troubled home-lending unit for what could wind up being significantly less.

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