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Morgan Stanley buying E*Trade in $13bn deal



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Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) announced on Thursday that it will acquire E*TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: ETFC), a financial services company and pioneer in the online brokerage industry, in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $13 billion.

E*TRADE stockholders will receive 1.0432 Morgan Stanley shares for each E*TRADE share, which represents per share consideration of $58.74 based on the closing price of Morgan Stanley common stock on February 19, 2020.

Highlights include:

  • Combined platforms will have $3.1Tn client assets, 8.2MM retail client relationships and accounts, and 4.6MM stock plan participants
  • Combination increases Wealth Management scale, fills product and services gaps through complementary offerings, and enhances digital capabilities; positions Morgan Stanley as a top player across all three channels: Financial Advisory, Workplace, and Self-Directed
  • Significant cost and funding synergies will result in stronger financial performance and shareholder value creation
  • Combination accelerates Morgan Stanley’s transition to a more balance sheet light business mix and more durable sources of revenue

James Gorman, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, commented on the news:

E*TRADE represents an extraordinary growth opportunity for our Wealth Management business and a leap forward in our Wealth Management strategy. The combination adds an iconic brand in the direct-to-consumer channel to our leading advisor-driven model, while also creating a premier Workplace Wealth provider for corporations and their employees. E*TRADE’s products, innovation in technology, and established brand will help position Morgan Stanley as a top player across all three channels: Financial Advisory, Self-Directed, and Workplace.

In addition, this continues the decade-long transition of our Firm to a more balance sheet light business mix, emphasizing more durable sources of revenue.

Finally, I am delighted that Mike Pizzi, CEO of E*TRADE, will be joining Morgan Stanley. Mike will continue to run the E*TRADE business within the Morgan Stanley franchise and lead the ongoing integration effort. Mike will report to me and will join the Morgan Stanley Operating and Management Committees. In addition, we will invite one of E*TRADE’s independent directors to join our Board. We look forward to welcoming the infusion of management and technology talent that E*TRADE will bring to Morgan Stanley.

Since we created the digital brokerage category nearly 40 years ago, E*TRADE has consistently disrupted the status quo and delivered cutting-edge tools and services to investors, traders, and stock plan administrators,” said Mike Pizzi, Chief Executive Officer of E*TRADE. “By joining Morgan Stanley, we will be able to take our combined offering to the next level and deliver an even more comprehensive suite of wealth management capabilities. Bringing E*TRADE’s brand and offerings under the Morgan Stanley umbrella creates a truly exciting wealth management value proposition and enables our collective team to serve a far wider spectrum of clients.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and approval by E*TRADE shareholders, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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Morgan Stanley buying E*Trade in $13bn deal

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