Cetera reportedly exploring $1.5 billion sale

The company confirmed it's talking to investment bankers to 'explore how to best optimize [its] capital structure at lower costs'

Feb 23, 2018 @ 5:37 pm

By Greg Iacurci

Cetera Financial Group, a network of six broker-dealers, is exploring a sale that could be worth about $1.5 billion, according to a Bloomberg report.

The company, which houses around 8,000 brokers and advisers, began interviewing potential advisers to run the sale earlier this month, according to the report, which cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

A spokesman for Cetera wouldn't confirm the company is for sale, but said the firm is "engaging investment banking partners to explore how to best optimize [its] capital structure at lower costs."

Cetera's former parent company, RCS Capital Corp., filed a prearranged Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 2016. Cetera Financial Group is now owned by RCS Capital's former first and second lien holders, including private-equity firms Fortress Investment Group and Carlyle Investment Management, as well as money manager Eaton Vance.

"Any next steps that we take to optimize our capital structure will prioritize the success and well-being of the financial advisors and institutions we're privileged to serve," the Cetera spokesman said.

An earlier story by industry publication Financial Advisor reported Goldman Sachs & Co. as the firm selected by Cetera to explore the firm's options.

Robert Moore, the CEO of Cetera, indicated in an interview with InvestmentNews in November that Cetera didn't have plans to sell the company.

"There is an abundance of investors who wish to get involved with us, but we are not looking for a private equity firm to come buy us," Mr. Moore said at the time.

The six firms that make up the independent broker-dealer network are: Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities and Summit Financial Services Group.

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