Morgan Stanley Sells European Stock Plan Unit for $48.5 Million

Morgan Stanley (MS), owner of the world’s largest brokerage, agreed to sell its European stock plan services business to Computershare Ltd. for $48.5 million.

The deal is expected to be completed in May, Abbotsford, Australia-based Computershare said today in a statement. Morgan Stanley will continue to provide trade execution to clients of the business after the sale, the New York-based bank said in a separate statement.

The business offers trade execution, administration and record-keeping for corporate equity-compensation plans, serving nine companies in the Stoxx Europe 50 Index (SX5E) and 10 percent of the U.K’s FTSE 100 Index. The unit, with 235,000 participant accounts, operates from London and Barcelona, Computershare said.

“This transaction is the result of our strategic decision to focus our stock plan service offering on the global needs of U.S.-based corporations,” Greg Fleming, president of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, said in his firm’s statement. “We are planning to make significant investments in the U.S. business to support our corporate clients and their employees around the world.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael J. Moore in New York at mmoore55@bloomberg.net

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

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