Barclays Capital, the investment banking division of banking group Barclays, has agreed to acquire the New York Stock Exchange designated market maker (DMM) assignments of market-making firm LaBranche & Co for $25 million.
The firm expects to complete the acquisition in Q1 2010, subject to conditions and regulatory approvals.
Designated market makers, formerly known as specialists, are responsible for providing liquidity in specific NYSE-listed stocks.
BarCap said the acquisition, which follows its March 2009 purchase of Bear Wagner Specialists, will enhance its position as the leading DMM on NYSE.
Barclays Capital is currently responsible for approximately 900 NYSE-listed securities and LaBranche for 700, making it the third-largest DMM by number of securities traded. BarCap said it intends to work with NYSE to ensure the successful transfer of responsibilities and to reallocate some of the acquired portfolio to maintain diversification among DMM firms and NYSE-listed companies.
“This transaction underscores our commitment to our DMM business and to promoting competitive and transparent public markets,” said William White, head of Barclays Capital Market Makers, in a statement. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the New York Stock Exchange in offering our market-leading equities capabilities to an expanded client base.”