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Apr 22 2013 | 10:55am ET
Hedge fund Clinton Group formally launched its bid to remake Gleacher & Co., calling the brokerage "broken" but poised for a "rapid rebirth" as an asset manager and proprietary trader.
New York-based Clinton told Gleacher investors in its proxy today that its nominees to Gleacher's board, including current CEO Thomas Hughes, "can help the company execute a rapid rebirth that focuses on new areas of financial services."
"We firmly believe that Gleacher is a valuable brand and that there is a significant opportunity to use the brand and other corporate attributes to establish a differentiated and successful investment manager."
Clinton has an uphill battle ahead of it: It owns only 3.5% of Gleacher and has built a partnership that controls 7.7% of the firm. Private-equity firm MatlinPatterson, which plans to run its own slate of board candidates, owns 28% of Gleacher and is the firm's largest outside shareholder.
MatlinPatterson said it was to clear out Gleacher's existing board, which is not taking a position in the proxy. Gleacher earlier this month quit the fixed-income business and broke off merger talks.
Hughes, Gleacher's current CEO, is a former chief operating officer at Clinton Group.