Morgan Stanley Closes $13 Billion E*TRADE Acquisition Deal

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) last week closed its $13 billion acquisition of the New York-based discount broker-dealer E*TRADE Financial Corporation.

The two companies agreed on the deal in February 2020, and the investment bank later revealed that it was pushing to close it in the fourth quarter of this year. They sealed the deal only 2 days after receiving a green light from the Federal Reserve.

“E*TRADE has built a best-in-class, direct-to-consumer digital channel and a strong brand over the past 38 years,” James P. Gorman, chairman and CEO at Morgan Stanley, said. “The addition of their premier offering will provide enhanced capabilities to all our clients and Financial Advisors.”

As previously agreed between the two, the $13 billion transactions were all made in stocks. Morgan Stanley paid $58.74 a share in stock for E*TRADE, at a premium of 30.7 percent to the last closing price of E*Trade shares. Additionally, shareholders of the discount brokerage will receive 1.0432 Morgan Stanley shares for each share.

Morgan Stanley is one of the top investment banks managing $3.3 trillion in assets. Despite the acquisition, E*Trade will continue to offer commission-free brokerage services under the existing brand and Michael Pizzi, the brokerage’s CEO, will continue to lead the platform as a Morgan Stanley employee.

Additionally, E*TRADE’s independent director Shelley Leibowitz joined Morgan Stanley’s board of directors.

Meanwhile, the brokerage is reporting exceptional demand for its services across various metrics. It also benefited from COVID-19 market volatility as more and more retail traders jumped to book profits.

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