Citigroup (C) Brokerage Partnership With Morgan Stanley (MS) Is Done

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Citigroup (C) and Morgan Stanley (MS) have agreed to combine Morgan Stanley’s Global Wealth Management Group and Citi’s Smith Barney, Quilter in the UK, and Smith Barney Australia into a new joint venture to be called Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

According to the companies, "Under the terms of the agreement, Citi will exchange 100 percent of its Smith Barney, Smith Barney Australia and Quilter units for a 49 percent stake in the joint venture and an upfront cash payment of $2.7 billion. Morgan Stanley will exchange 100 percent of its Global Wealth Management business for a 51 percent stake in the joint venture. After year three, Morgan Stanley and Citi will have various purchase and sale rights for the joint venture, but Citi will continue to own a significant stake in the joint venture at least through year five. "

"At closing, Citi will recognize a pre-tax gain of approximately $9.5 billion, or approximately $5.8 billion on an after-tax basis, and will create approximately $6.5 billion of tangible common equity".

Why did the deal happen? Citigroup needed the money. It is not more complex than that.

Douglas A. McIntyre