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MF Global U.K. Unit Enters Special Administration, FSA Says

MF Global Holdings Ltd.’s U.K. unit became the first company placed into Britain’s special administration program as regulators moved to protect financial stability after the broker-dealer’s U.S. bankruptcy filing.

KPMG LLP will supervise the special administration, the Financial Services Authority said in a statement today. The U.K. unit employed 725 people and job cuts are likely, KPMG said.

MF Global Holdings Ltd., the holding company for the broker-dealer run by former New Jersey governor and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. co-chairman Jon Corzine, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy today in New York after its bets on European sovereign debt went sour.

“Against the backdrop of challenging market conditions and the Eurozone crisis, the financial position of MF Global U.K. has significantly deteriorated in recent weeks,” Richard Fleming, an administrator from KPMG, said in an e-mailed statement. “Following the filing for Chapter 11 by MF Global Holdings USA Inc., it would not be viable to operate MF Global U.K. Ltd. on a standalone basis.”

Winding Up

The special administrator can direct suppliers to provide key services to MF Global to facilitate an orderly resolution, the FSA said. The system was established in response to the 2008 collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

MF Global, one of 22 primary dealers authorized to trade U.S. government securities, was suspended today from doing new business with the New York Federal Reserve, according to a statement on the regulator’s website. Trading in MF Global’s stock was also halted.

Unsecured creditors include JPMorgan Chase & Co., as trustee for holders of $1.2 billion in debt, and Deutsche Bank AG, as trustee for holders of more than $1 billion in notes due in 2016 and 2018, MF Global said in court papers. JPMorgan itself holds less than $100 million of the debt, according to a person close to the New York-based bank, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the dealings aren’t public.

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