The fate of at least one of the exiting specialists has been sealed. Van der Moolen Holding NV (NYSE: VDM) has reached agreement to sell certain assets of its US specialist and market making activities to Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH). Financial terms were not disclosed, although initial indications are that Lehman is assuming the liabilities and obligations for a minute sum.
This transaction is subject to approvals and expected to close rapidly as it will be finalized on December 10, 2007. Lehman Brothers will now be the fourth largest specialist firm and act as specialist for approximately 400 NYSE-listed stocks.
Jon C. Ogg
December 4, 2007