Citadel Investment Group, a leading global financial institution, announced today that its affiliate, Citadel Equity Fund, Ltd., entered into a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan on August 11, 2009 in connection with its holdings of E*Trade Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: ETFC).
Kenneth Griffin, Citadel's President and CEO, recently joined E*TRADE's Board of Directors and will continue in that role. Rule 10b5-1 permits individuals and firms who are not then in possession of material non-public information to establish pre-arranged plans to buy or sell stock, and are typically entered into by officers and directors of public companies. The plan has been adopted to comply with Rule 10b5-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Citadel's plan, which is expected to conclude by the end of October, 2009, provides that a broker will sell up to 120,000,000 shares of E*TRADE common stock for Citadel in accordance with a predetermined formula. The plan, under which Citadel will exercise no further discretion or control, will permit Citadel to reduce its aggregate exposure to ETFC in an orderly manner.
Affiliates of Citadel, including Citadel Equity Fund, Ltd., maintain significant holdings in both the Common Stock and debt of ETFC, and even after expiry of the plan and assuming approval of the restructuring scheduled for a vote on August 19, will likely remain E*TRADE's largest shareholder on a fully diluted basis.