Gleacher shares fall on continued financial woes

Shares of Gleacher tumble as company warns of worsening finances, client and staff defections

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Gleacher & Co. shares fell Tuesday after the investment bank said that its finances have worsened and that it's again considering a possible sale of the company just a month after it took itself off the market and sold its mortgage banking unit.

THE SPARK: New York-based Gleacher said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it continues to lose members of its senior management, along with key clients, because of worries about the company's stability. Some trading customers have reduced or suspended their trading activities, which has reduced revenue, the company said.

As a result, Gleacher said it's seeking a strategic deal with an outside party that could result in the company being acquired, or in the sale of nearly all of its assets.

THE BIG PICTURE: Gleacher said in August that it was considering a variety of strategic options including a possible sale, but took itself off the market in February, saying it had agreed to sell it substantially all of the assets of its ClearPoint home mortgage business for an undisclosed sum.

Gleacher said in its Tuesday filing that in the weeks since that deal was announced, it been approached by outside parties about its options. The company said that if it's unable to reach a deal for the sale of all or part of the company, it will consider its available options and take actions that could include a swift reduction of its expenses or the sale of certain assets.

THE SHARES: Down 7 cents, or 10 percent, to 62 cents in afternoon trading, after falling as low as 58 cents earlier in the day. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between 50 cents and $1.45.

Over the past year, the shares have lost about half of their value.

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