Ameritrade Makes Another Purchase

It buys Oregon-based Bidwell, with about 100,000 accounts.
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Ameritrade

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said Friday it has agreed to buy Portland, Ore.,-based Bidwell & Co. for an undisclosed amount of cash.

The deal will add about 100,000 new accounts and $5 billion in customer assets, Ameritrade said, adding that the accounts generate the same per-account revenue as those at Ameritrade. The transaction is expected to close in early 2004.

"The number of accounts combined with the quality of the accounts and expected revenues indicate the deal will be accretive and enhance our top-line growth," Ameritrade said in a statement.

The purchase, which will also add 88 registered investment advisers with over $546 million of assets under management, is the latest in a string of acquisitions for Ameritrade. In October, the firm agreed to acquire BrokerageAmerica and in June it acquired Mydiscountbroker.com. In 2001, Ameritrade purchased National Discount Broker and just last year it bought Datek Online.

Separately, Ameritrade said it opened 32,000 new accounts, or 20,000 net new accounts, in October. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company reported an average daily volume of 170,000 trades for the month and said it has not changed guidance for fiscal 2004.