E*Trade Never Reached Out to Potential Buyers as Part of Review

E*Trade Financial Corp., which faced pressure from its biggest shareholder to explore a sale, never contacted potential buyers as part of its strategic review, Chief Financial Officer Matthew Audette said.

E*Trade saw “no reason to proceed down the path” of starting a sales process, he said today during an event hosted by KBW Inc. Audette cited economic uncertainty and the interest- rate and credit environment in explaining why the company didn’t reach out to potential suitors.

The stock fell 4.1 percent on Nov. 11, the most in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, after E*Trade said its board rejected putting the company on sale. Citadel LLC, the hedge fund that is New York-based E*Trade’s biggest owner, called for a strategic review this year to address “catastrophic losses.”

Audette said the company considered three options, remaining independent, selling its bank and selling the entire company, before picking the first.

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney Kisling in New York at wkisling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at nbaker7@bloomberg.net

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