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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.

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