E*Trade Group has acquired 7,190,000 shares of its common stock (2.2%) from Softbank in a private transaction for more than $39 million.
E*Trade chairman and chief executive officer Christos Cotsakos also personally purchased an additional 2 million shares from Softbank on the same terms, for a total of $10.9 million.
E*Trade's share price rose on the sale, as investors interpreted the move positively as a signal that the company and its director view the stock as underpriced.
Ron Fisher, vice chairman of Softbank Holdings says the sale is consistent with the company's policy of diversifying its holdings. "We continue to have enormous confidence in the leadership and direction of E*Trade," he states.
Softbank remains the largest shareowner of E*Trade with an aggregate ownership of more than 53 million shares, representing approximately 17% of the issued and outstanding common stock. Softbank also maintains its representation on E*Trade's board of directors.