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Leucadia in $3.6b deal for Jefferies

NEW YORK — Leucadia National Corp. said Monday that it would buy the Jefferies Group in a deal valued at about $3.6 billion.

Shareholders of Jefferies will receive 0.81 of a Leucadia share for each of their shares, the announcement said. That represents a 24 percent premium to the closing price of ­Jefferies ­on Friday.

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Leucadia, a conglomerate that has been likened to a ‘‘baby­ Berkshire Hathaway’’ because of the wide range of its holdings, already owns 28.6 percent of Jefferies. After the deal closes, Jefferies shareholders will own 35.3 percent of the combined company.

The deal will give Jefferies a deep-pocketed owner as it continues to build out a full-
service investment bank. The firm has sought to raise its profile in businesses like merger advising, in part to counterbalance its core business of trading stocks and bonds.

The firm’s stock price has outperformed those of larger rivals like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley over the past five years.

Richard B. Handler, the chairman and chief executive of Jefferies, will become Leucadia’s chief. Joseph S. Steinberg, Leucadia’s president and cofounder, will become chairman of the combined company. Ian M. Cumming, Leucadia’s other cofounder and its current chairman and chief executive, will retire but remain a director.

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