Gleacher Decides Against Merger While Selling Clearpoint

Gleacher & Co., the investment bank started by Eric J. Gleacher, decided against a sale or merger after completing a six-month strategic review.

The firm will instead sell its ClearPoint mortgage unit to Ocwen Financial Corp., New York-based Gleacher said today in a statement. The company also posted a loss of $11.5 million from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of 2012 as the restructuring took up management’s time.

Stifel Financial Corp., the St. Louis-based brokerage, was among the companies that bid on all or part of Gleacher, people with knowledge of the talks said in October. Smaller financial companies including Gleacher have struggled amid a slump in trading commissions that pushed brokerages such as WJB Capital Group Inc. and Ticonderoga Securities LLC to close last year.

Gleacher disclosed its strategic review in August. The firm began exploring options amid pressure from top shareholder MatlinPatterson Global Advisers LLC. Eric Gleacher, who resigned last month, founded Gleacher Partners Inc. in 1990 and before that led mergers and acquisitions at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Morgan Stanley.

Gleacher fell 15 percent to 80 cents at 4:30 p.m. in New York, giving it a market value of $99.6 million.

(Updates with closing stock price in fifth paragraph.)
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