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LaBranche to Review Strategic Options

Specialist trading company LaBranche on Monday said it will review strategic alternatives for the business and said it expects a second-quarter loss.

Such reviews often, but not always, include evaluating a possible sale of the company.

LaBranche said it retained Freeman Securities and Weil, Gotshal & Manges to assist in the review.

LaBranche also said it agreed to sell its AMEX equity specialist operation to Cohen Specialists and expects the deal to close on Monday. Terms were undisclosed, but LaBranche said it will likely take a "substantial" non-cash charge for a writedown of intangible assets related to its entire specialist business.

LaBranche also said it expects second-quarter earnings will be positive, before any potential impairment charges and unrealized losses related to its investment in NYSE Euronext.

Including the charges, the company expects a second-quarter loss.

In April, LaBranche posted a loss for the first quarter, partially due to a decline in the value of NYSE Group shares it held.

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