Restrictions Lifted on Lazard PE Business

(Reuters) – Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N) has amended its agreement with LFCM Holdings, its capital markets business, removing restrictions that had prevented Lazard from making private equity investments in North America, according to its annual report filed with U.S. regulators on Monday.

LFCM Holdings is a private company that was separated from Lazard in 2005. It consists of Lazard’s capital markets business and Lazard Alternative Investments.

LFCM’s assets are separate from those of Lazard Ltd, which is primarily an advisory business.

The amended agreement with LFCM Holdings also reduced the price of Lazard’s option to buy the North American fund management activities of Lazard Alternative Investments.

Lazard, under the agreement, will not compete with LFCM’s alternative investment business during the life of the option.

“From time to time, we have considered exercising the option with respect to Europe and other remaining activities in North America and have had preliminary conversations with LFCM Holdings in that regard,” Lazard said in the report.

Separately, Lazard has entered an arrangement with a financial advisory firm in Mexico to provide advisory services to clients looking to buy or sell Mexican assets.

The two companies will also provide restructuring advisory services to Mexican companies, according to the filing.

(Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Ted Kerr)