Toronto Dominion Bank
may be close to finding a buyer for its TD Waterhouse brokerage unit according to a report published Tuesday morning. The Canadian bank is in final discussions with E*Trade
on a deal that would merge E*Trade and TD's brokerage unit. That a deal could be presented to the boards by early next week, reports the Toronto Globe and Mail
In October the paper ran a similar story that identified Ameritrade
as the potential buyer. In that case the report also stated that a deal may have been just a week away. Yet in the most current story the paper states that Ameritrade and TD broke off talks because of differences in strategy.
To support its report that E*Trade is close to completing a deal the paper quoted "sources familiar with the negotiations" as telling it that TD Bank would hold a 40 to 50 percent stake in the merged companies. That stake would value the deal at about $8 billion. Neither company commented for the story.
The combined brokerages would be run by E*Trade's management but its headquarters would be in New York City. E*Trade relocated its headquarters to the Big Apple from Menlo Park, California at the start of 2004.
While TD Waterhouse has been able to build a strong fund distribution network to independent financial advisors, E*Trade mostly failed in its efforts. A combination of the two discount brokers would create an organization with $236 billion in customer assets. Meanwhile, Charles Schwab reports $938 billion in customer assets, according to the Globe and Mail.
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