(Graphic: Business Wire)

Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE: SF) and KBW, Inc. (NYSE: KBW) today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement to create the premier middle-market investment bank with a specialized focus on the financial services industry.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, KBW shareholders will receive $17.50 per share, comprised of $10.00 per share in cash and $7.50 per share in Stifel common stock. Additionally, holders of certain restricted KBW shares, that will continue to vest post closing, will receive $17.50 in Stifel common stock. The stock component of the consideration is fixed at $7.50 per share, subject to a collar, provided that the volume weighted average closing price of Stifel common stock for the ten days prior to closing is between $29.00 and $35.00 per share. If the volume weighted average price rises above $35.00 per share, the exchange ratio will be fixed at 0.2143 shares of Stifel common stock for each share of KBW, and if it falls below $29.00 per share, the exchange ratio will be fixed at 0.2586 shares of Stifel common stock for each share of KBW.

The transaction is valued in excess of $575 million, which includes the outstanding shares and restricted stock awards of KBW. Approximately $250 million in excess capital on KBW’s balance sheet is expected to be immediately available to Stifel upon closing.

Ronald J. Kruszewski, Chairman, President and CEO of Stifel Financial Corp. said, “This transaction is expected to be accretive to shareholder value. This merger with KBW, a premier, specialized financial services firm, provides Stifel with an exciting opportunity to grow and become a market leader in the financial services sector. Our shared culture and platforms are highly complementary, and this combination expands our capabilities at a time when we believe the financial services sector is poised to benefit from improving fundamentals. I am confident our clients will benefit from our expanded services and expertise.”

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