Gleacher's board approves liquidation of assets

March 13 Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:36am EDT

March 13 (Reuters) - Gleacher & Co Inc said its board approved a plan to liquidate its assets and distribute them to shareholders, capping years of struggle that resulted in the company shutting its main investment banking business last year.

New York-based Gleacher & Co, founded by M&A veteran Eric Gleacher, never fully recovered from a slump in the merger and advisory business and last posted a profit in the December quarter of 2011. Gleacher left the company in January 2013.

The company said on Thursday it expects to make an initial liquidating distribution of about $20 million, or $3.23 per share, to stockholders.

In addition, the company could pay stockholders between $40 million and $70 million based on reserves remaining after paying off potential claims and obligations.

Apart from exiting the investment business, Gleacher sold its mortgage-origination unit, closed its equities and fixed income businesses and fired more than 100 traders and bankers in the last two years.

The company also reported on Thursday a smaller fourth-quarter loss, helped by investment gains.

Gleacher lost $2.9 million, or 37 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with $11.2 million, or 86 cents per share, a year earlier.

Gleacher shares closed at $11.31 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday, valuing the company at $71 million.

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