Charles Schwab buys brokerage

US broker Charles Schwab will buy smaller retail brokerage optionsXpress in a $1bn (£620m) deal aimed at helping Schwab take advantage of investors’ stronger embrace of options.

The all-stock deal values optionsXpress at $17.91 per share, a 17 per cent premium over its $15.33 closing price on Friday. Under the terms of the deal, each share of Chicago-based optionsXpress would be swapped for 1.02 shares of Schwab. The deal is a nod to retail investors’ increased comfort with using options contracts to speculate and hedge.