March 18, 2013 / 9:52 PM / in 5 years

Gleacher gets reprieve from Nasdaq delisting; seeks reverse split

NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) - Gleacher & Co, a small investment bank that has lost money in four of the last five years, said Monday that it is seeking shareholder approval for a reverse stock split.

The New York-based company, an outgrowth of regional brokerage firm First Albany and the smaller mergers advisory shop founded by Eric Gleacher, will be delisted from the Nasdaq Global Market stock exchange if it fails to win approval for the split.

Gleacher shares have traded below $1 since last spring, triggering a delisting warning from Nasdaq OMX Group’s major exchange.

In its annual 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gleacher said Nasdaq has given it until June 17, 2013, to achieve the reverse split that would bring its stock price above the minimum level.

Gleacher, which has replaced its executive team, closed its equities business, sold its mortgage-origination unit and fired more than a hundred traders and bankers in the past year, said in February that it has given up its search for a buyer and for fresh capital.

That announcement, following reports that it had earlier rejected a takeover approach from Stifel Financial Corp, sent its downtrodden stock down almost 30 percent further. [ID: nL4N0BF51G]

In its filing, Gleacher said only about 3,000 investors own its common stock. Its shares over the past 12 months have ranged from a high of $1.88 on March 31, 2012 to a low of 53 cents on June 30. It closed up 3 cents Monday at 69 cents a share.

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