Hedge Fund Ramius Buys Boutique I-Bank Cowen

Jun 5 2009 | 11:57am ET

Ramius Capital is branching out into investment banking and going public in one fell swoop.

The New York-based hedge fund has struck a reverse-merger deal with boutique investment bank Cowen Group, which is publicly traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Under the deal, Cowen acquires all of Ramius’ assets and liabilities, while Ramius and one of its investors get a 71% stake in Cowen.

The agreement not only allows Ramius to go public without an initial public offering, but gives the firm, which has seen its assets under management fall by 30% to $7.7 billion, a platform to offer fixed-income sales, trading and origination, as well as real-estate banking, Bloomberg News reports.

“There’s a void that this calamity has created,” Cohen told The Wall Street Journal.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The combined firm will be called Cowen Group, led by Rmius founder Peter Cohen as chairman and CEO. Current Cowen president and CEO David Malcolm will serve as head of its broker-dealer subsidiary. Some layoffs are possible, the Journal reports, particularly in the firms’ administrative and information technology departments.

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