LaBranche Sells Specialist Unit to Barclays

LaBranche signed a deal to sell its New York Stock Exchange specialist business for $25 million to Barclays Capital.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

LaBranche

(LAB)

signed a definitive agreement to sell its

New York Stock Exchange

specialist business for $25 million to

Barclays Capital

(BCS) - Get Report

.

LaBranche said the sale would free up $76 million in capital related to the designated market-maker operations. The company will record a charge of $69.7 million from the sale and said it would record a fourth-quarter loss of $72.5 million, or $1.38 a share.

Following this sale, which is expected to be completed by the end of January, LaBranche will be left with its market-making operations in exchange-traded funds, equity options, foreign exchange options and futures and an institutional brokerage which made up a majority of its revenue since 2007, LaBranche said in a statement.

The acquisition enhances Barclays' position as the leading market maker on the NYSE following its acquisition in March 2009 of the market-maker rights of Bear Wagner Specialists.

The number of designated market makers has been on a decline on the NYSE floor, where an estimated 17% of daily NYSE stock trades now takes place, the

Wall Street Journal

reports.

Shares of LaBranche rose $1.04, or 37.4%, to $3.82 in after-hours trading Wednesday.