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.

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