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B. Riley Financial to Acquire FBR & Co., Form New Financial Services Firm

February 23, 2017, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions

B. Riley Financial and FBR combined will become a clear leader in small cap investment banking and brokerage in the U.S. with 600 names under research coverage.

Together B. Riley Financial and FBR will provide a truly unique platform to help clients manage their capital and business prospects across all stages of the company's life cycle. The firm's capital raising capabilities will range from formation capital and growth capital to direct lending and recapitalizations, utilizing 144A, ATMs, public market offerings and other creative structures. The firm will also include one of the world's largest asset valuation and disposition businesses, as well as a business that specializes in providing complex restructuring solutions. Each of these capabilities is attached to a market leading practice within B. Riley Financial, giving it a thorough understanding of clients' needs to generate the right solution with world class execution.

"FBR's leadership in investment banking and its sector coverage, combined with minimal overlap on our existing brokerage business, makes this a very powerful combination for our clients," said Bryant Riley, Chairman and CEO of B. Riley Financial. "This merger with FBR represents a great strategic and cultural fit for B. Riley with strong franchises in areas complementary to our existing businesses. The combined firm will enjoy an increased capital base as well as meaningful revenue and expense synergies."

Upon closing, Richard Hendrix, FBR's current Chairman and CEO, will assume the role of CEO of the combined investment banking and brokerage business, which will be a subsidiary of B. Riley Financial.

"Merging with B. Riley creates a market leader in investment banking and brokerage services. We benefit by becoming an important component of a broader and more diversified financial services company led by like-minded and trusted professionals. Together we can scale and strengthen our business," said Hendrix. "Our organizations are fueled by employees who are highly knowledgeable and have an in-depth understanding of their clients and industries. Both organizations benefit from long-standing relationships with investors and deep client ties. We look forward to working with the entire B. Riley team to maximize the value we can deliver to clients and shareholders with this combination."

FBR's banking and brokerage businesses strategically align with B. Riley's current operations with limited overlap of clients, coverage and capital raising activities. The transaction further diversifies the overall business of B. Riley Financial and adds FBR's market leading initial equity franchise to B. Riley & Co.'s successful capital markets capabilities. In addition, the combination allows for expanded geographic distribution reach with significant operations on the East and West coasts.

"FBR's strong market share in IPOs and 144As, and sector coverage in key banking sectors, complement our business. Bringing together the breadth and depth of capabilities of B. Riley and FBR supports our investments in strategic businesses and growing areas of our firm like our restructuring, asset disposition, appraisal business and lending fund," added Riley.

At closing, FBR shareholders will receive .671 shares of B. Riley common stock and an anticipated pre-closing cash dividend of $8.50 per share assuming sufficient funds are available for distribution. FBR is required to deliver a minimum of $33.5 million of cash (net of certain transactional and other expenses) to B. Riley Financial at closing. Based upon B. Riley Financial's closing stock price on Friday, the stock and anticipated pre-closing dividend amounts to $20.28 per FBR share.

The transaction has been approved by B. Riley Financial's and FBR's boards of directors and is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval from both companies and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. B. Riley and FBR directors and officers, representing 28 percent and 19 percent respectively, have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the merger. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of this year.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP served as legal counsel to B. Riley Financial. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal counsel to FBR.

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