Shareholders of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services (NYSE: LTS), a publicly traded financial services firm, have approved the company’s proposed merger with Advisor Group, one of the nation’s largest networks of independent wealth management firms.
At the company’s special meeting of stockholders, approximately 104.1 million shares voted for the merger, 8.6 million voted against, and nearly 400,000 abstained.
As previously reported, Ladenburg agreed to be acquired by Advisor Group through a cash merger, and each outstanding share of Ladenburg’s common stock will be converted into a cash payment of $3.50 per share. The combined company will have nine broker-dealers, with nearly 11,500 financial advisors and more than $450 billion in client assets.
The total enterprise value of the transaction is approximately $1.3 billion, taking into account Ladenburg’s common stock, preferred stock and outstanding debt. Following the merger, Ladenburg’s firms will not be merged with Advisor Group’s firms and will continue to operate under a multi-brand network model of firms.
The shareholder approval satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the pending transaction. The firms have also received regulatory approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in connection with the merger and expect to be complete the transaction this month.
According to the company’s last quarterly financial filing, Ladenburg disclosed that its former chairman and largest shareholder, Phillip Frost, filed a lawsuit to stop the merger. The firm also disclosed an addition five complaints related to the proposed transaction. Ladenburg said that it believes the lawsuits are without merit and intends to “defend vigorously” against the allegations.
Advisor Group serves more than 7,000 advisors and oversees $271 billion in client assets. Its network of firms consists of FSC Securities Corporation, Royal Alliance Associates, SagePoint Financial and Woodbury Financial. Ladenburg’s independent advisory and brokerage firms include Securities America, Triad Advisors, Investacorp, KMS Financial Services and Securities Service Network (SSN).