B. Riley Financial Inc. announced Thursday an agreement to buy Memphis-based investment firm Wunderlich Securities in a deal valued at $67 million. Under terms of the deal, B. Riley's bid includes $36 million in cash, 1.9 million of its common stock and warrants to buy 820,000 common shares. B. Riley expects the deal to close in June 2017, and to add to 2017 earnings per share. "We believe now is an opportune time to build a fully-integrated brokerage firm to more fully capitalize on the current market conditions as well as be ideally positioned with greater capabilities, resources and distribution as opportunities arise," said B. Riley Chief Executive Bryant Riley. "On top of this, we see the cycle of active versus passive investing swinging back towards active management and believe the opportunity is now to begin investing for it." B. Riley's stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has tumbled 26% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.3%.
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