Capital World Almost Doubles Stake in Jefferies After Stock Rout

Capital World Investors, a Los Angeles-based investment-management company, almost doubled its stake in Jefferies Group Inc. (JEF) as the investment bank’s stock dropped 48 percent last year.

Capital World acquired 11.1 million shares, bringing its total holdings to 24.1 million shares as of Dec. 30, according to a regulatory filing today. The firm now owns a 12 percent stake in Jefferies. Leucadia National Corp. (LUK), which holds 29 percent, is the biggest investor, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Jefferies, run by Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler, plunged last year as Wall Street banks struggled to maintain trading revenue and as MF Global Holdings Ltd (MFGLQ).’s Oct. 31 bankruptcy fueled what New York-based Jefferies called unfounded speculation it may be toppled by Europe’s debt crisis. Leucadia boosted its holdings by 1.5 million shares in November.

Richard Khaleel, a spokesman for Jefferies, declined to comment, as did Chuck Freadhoff at Capital World.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Marcinek in New York at lmarcinek3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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