Two innovative, Chicago-based online brokerage firms -- OptionsHouse LLC, a subsidiary of PEAK6 Investments, L.P., and tradeMONSTER, a subsidiary of tradeMONSTER Group, Inc. -- today announced definitive agreements to combine under a new standalone company, creating a market leading brokerage for active traders and investors. The combination of OptionsHouse and tradeMONSTER will bring together two dynamic companies that offer customers fast, reliable execution, ease of use, and superior value delivered seamlessly across desktop and mobile devices. Under the terms of the agreements, global growth investor General Atlantic ("GA") will acquire OptionsHouse from PEAK6 and separately will acquire a majority interest in tradeMONSTER from its shareholders. The transactions are expected to close in the third quarter, pending regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. GA will own a majority stake in the new combined company. "The online brokerage industry is highly fragmented. This transaction represents a tremendous opportunity to bring together two best-of-breed, online brokerages and create an organization that, as a market leading player, will challenge the status quo in the online brokerage industry," said Dirk Mueller-Ingrand, CEO of tradeMONSTER. "Our goal is to continually improve our customers' trading experience as one of the most dynamic and innovative companies in the industry." George Ruhana, CEO of OptionsHouse said, "By joining forces, customers will get the best of both companies and continue to benefit from the products and features that enable them to gain a competitive edge. A focus on providing superior value at competitive prices will remain a hallmark of the new company." "As growth investors with decades of experience investing in the financial services sector, especially in those companies where technology is a key differentiator, GA sees the creation of this new online brokerage leader as an exciting and unique opportunity to be part of the next phase of innovation in the online brokerage industry," said Rene Kern, managing director of General Atlantic. "Advanced trading tools once available only to professional investors are becoming accessible to a wider universe of retail investors and market demand for sophisticated, yet easy-to-use analytics is expanding. We believe the combined company will be uniquely positioned to meet this growing demand." The new company will be headquartered in Chicago, where both entities are based, and is expected to substantially benefit from the depth and breadth of experienced and talented people at each company. Jefferies LLC acted as financial advisor to General Atlantic. Other advisors for the transactions include the following, for General Atlantic: Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Bracewell & Giuliani, Oliver Wyman and Green Peak Partners; for OptionsHouse: Sidley Austin LLP; for tradeMONSTER: Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.
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