Case | HBS Case Collection | January 1994 (Revised June 1994)

Dean Witter, Discover & Co.

by Dwight B. Crane and W. James Whalen


Early in 1993, Sears was in the process of spinning off its Dean Witter, Discover subsidiary. This subsidiary consisted of a securities brokerage that was acquired in 1981 and also the Discover Card, a general purpose credit card, the firm introduced in 1985. The key issue was the price per share of the initial public offering. Because Dean Witter, Discover was a unique company, consisting of a credit card coupled with a retail-oriented securities brokerage, valuing the firm was not necessarily a straightforward issue.

Keywords: Valuation; Business Subsidiaries; Initial Public Offering; Credit Cards; Corporate Strategy; Asset Pricing; Financial Services Industry;


Crane, Dwight B., and W. James Whalen. "Dean Witter, Discover & Co." Harvard Business School Case 294-046, January 1994. (Revised June 1994.)