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Leucadia Upgraded by S&P as Jefferies’ Outlook Lifted to Stable

Leucadia National Corp. (LUK) had its credit rating upgraded to BBB from BB+ by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services after finishing its takeover of Jefferies Group LLC (JEF), whose outlook was lifted to stable.

“Our upgrade of Leucadia reflects the combined entities’ stronger business and financial profiles as well as new management’s established targets for leverage, liquidity, and investment concentration,” Kenneth Frey and Jeffrey Zaun. S&P’s analysts, said today in a statement.

Leucadia said yesterday it completed the acquisition of Jefferies, which the two New York-based firms announced in November. The deal gives Jefferies stronger liquidity, faster capital growth and “better business opportunities,” the analysts wrote in the statement.

Jefferies Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler, 51, becomes head of Leucadia while maintaining his other title. Leucadia Chairman and CEO Ian Cumming will retire. The combined management has developed financial targets that “constrain financial risk to a level that we view as in line with a ’BBB’ rating,” the analysts wrote.

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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