Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

PA-backed LLR funds $28M deal

LLR money lets Lightspeed Financial buy Terra Nova Financial

PA-backed LLR funds $28M deal

LLR Partners, a $1.4 billion Philadelphia private equity fund backed by investor Ira Lubert and by Pennsylvania state pension funds, among other investors, will make an investment in New York-based Lightspeed Financial Inc. that will  finance Lightspeed's planned $27.6 million cash acquisition of Terra Nova Financial LLC, LLR partner Mitchell Hollin said in this statement.

Lightspeed was founded in 2006 by E-Trade Financial Corp. executive Stephen Ehrlich and his team, in a leveraged buyout of E-Trade Professional Trading and ETP Technologies. Lightspeed, a government-registered broker-dealer, has acquired a series of trading firms serving high-frequency traders, proprietary-trading groups and day-traders in hopes of building its trading volume and cutting costs.

Terra Nova, owned by Chicago-based Terra Nova Financial Group Inc., a publicly-traded firm whose stock lists for less than $1 a share in over-the-counter trades, also operates trading systems for retail investors.

LLR wouldn't say how much it's betting on Lightspeed. The firm typically makes investments of $20 million to $100 million.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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