Citi Buying Rest of Nikko Cordial

NEW YORK (AP) – Citigroup Inc. said Tuesday it agreed to acquire the rest of Japanese brokerage Nikko Cordial for stock worth about $4.6 billion.

Citi, which now owns about 68 percent of Nikko Cordial, said minority holders of Nikko will get stock worth 1,700 yen ($14.74) per Nikko Cordial share at the time the exchange ratio is determined.

Both companies' boards have approved the agreement, and the transaction is expected to close in January.

Citi also said it has filed an application to list Citigroup Inc. shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and that it aims to have the listing become effective prior to completion of the share exchange.

The New York-based bank expects the transaction to be neutral to earnings per share in 2008 and to add to profit afterward. The banking giant said the transaction lets it accelerate its growth in the world's second largest economy via an “established partner with a premier franchise and brand and with a very well established network in Japan.”