Lehman Buys Van der Moolen US NYSE Assets

Lehman Brothers said on Tuesday it would buy assets from Dutch specialist market maker Van der Moolen including its New York Stock Exchange portfolio.

With the acquisition Lehman said it would establish a market making firm on the New York Stock Exchange floor trading in 416 NYSE-listed issues, the NYSE said in a statement.

The deal will make Lehman Brothers' market making business the fourth-largest specialist firm on the NYSE, Lehman said.

Van der Moolen said separately it had sold the assets for zero consideration, and following the sale its fourth-quarter net result will include charges for derecognition of certain VDMS intangible assets amounting to 40 million euros ($58.65 million) net of taxes, excluding severance and restructuring costs.

The transaction is expected to be finalised on Dec. 10, 2007 and is subject to regulatory review.

"From now on the focus of our US business will be on brokerage and trading at the Chicago Board Stock Exchange (CBSX). This brings our focus in the US in line with our strategy in Europe," said Richard den Drijver, CEO of Van der Moolen.

"This transaction marks the end of an era for our company, but certainly not the end of our activities in the United States," he said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Van der Moolen said it would end its unprofitable U.S. specialist activities as it struggles to retain profitability as electronic trading becomes mainstream in global exchanges.

The specialist unit has a book value for Van Der Moolen of a little more than 20 million euros ($29.3 million), including goodwill.

The sale of the specialist business is expected to reduce Van der Moolen's presence in the United States and it will now make the bulk of its revenue in Europe, unlike in previous