E*Trade is to acquire Chicago-based specialist and market making firm Dempsey & Co in a cash and stock deal valued at $173.5 million. The online brokerage has also revealed plans to shut down and consolidate data centres in the US and Europe in a bid to streamline operations and pare back expenses.
Dempsey, one of the largest firms on the Chicago Stock Exchange, provides specialist and market-making services in listed and over-the-counter issues. The acqusition will enable E*Trade to leverage its own order flow and enhance profitability on executed trades.
Christos Cotsakos, chairman chief executive officer at E*Trade says: "The acquisition combines the best of the human touch and technology, merging the expertise of Dempsey's professional team of traders with E*Trade's global technology platform."
At the same time, E*Trade has moved to streamline its domestic and international operations in a bid to generate $70 million in annual savings. The move entails the closure of data centres in California, Georgia and Oregon, and the consolidation of facilities in the firm's UK and Nordic operations.