Charles Schwab will reportedly acquire TD Ameritrade for $26 billion

A man walks near the Charles Schwab sign in the Manhattan borough of New York, in an October 10, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/Files File photo of a man walking near the Charles Schwab sign in the Manhattan borough of New YorkReuters


Charles Schwab will buy rival brokerage TD Ameritrade, FOX Business reported Thursday, and the deal could be announced as soon as today.

An acquisition will ring in at roughly $26 billion, and allow Schwab to better compete in the dynamic brokerage industry. All major brokerage firms cut fees for US-listed trades between late September and early October, eliminating a key revenue stream in a bid to attract new customers.

TD Ameritrade stock spiked as much as 27% in early Thursday trading. Schwab shares surged as much as 12%.

The combined company will be helmed by Schwab CEO Walter Bettinger, according to FOX. TD Ameritrade CEO and President Tim Hockey announced in July he will leave the firm by February, and Chief Financial Officer Steve Boyle will run the brokerage until the acquisition is completed.

Schwab announced on October 1 it would cut stock and exchange-traded-fund fees to zero, just one day before TD Ameritrade also wiped out its trading fees. Competing firms Fidelity and E*Trade nixed their fees in the following days. Interactive Brokers was the first major firm to cut commissions, making its announcement September 26.

Schwab and TD Ameritrade stocks tumbled following their announcements, but have since recovered.

Schwab's namesake founder said that the decision will open up the company's services to customers who previously faced obstacles when looking to invest with the firm.

"From day one, my passion has been to make investing easier and more affordable for everyone," brokerage founder Charles Schwab said in a press release announcing the elimination of trading fees. He added that "eliminating commissions ensures my ultimate vision is realized - making investing accessible to all."

Schwab closed Wednesday at $44.75 per share, up roughly 7.8%. TD Ameritrade closed at $41.38 per share, down about 15.5% year-t0-date.

Schwab has 10 "buy" ratings, nine "hold" ratings, and two "sell" ratings from analysts, and a consensus price target of $43.38, according to Bloomberg data.

TD Ameritrade has seven "buy" ratings, eight "hold" ratings, and four "sell" ratings, with a consensus price target of $40.22.

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