Suisse clinches DLJ deal

$1.9 bil in stock opts for execs, 2,500 lower-level job losses expected

HOLLYWOOD — The parent of investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston announced Wednesday an agreement to acquire Wall Street rival Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, currently controlled by Paris-based insurance group AXA, in a $11.5 billion cash and stock deal.

The agreement had been expected (Daily Variety, Aug. 30). Its terms also include some $1.9 billion in stock-option incentives for DLJ execs, an encouragement to stay after the takeover by Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group.

But the combination, which continues a consolidation trend among investment banks, is expected to result in up to 2,500 lower-level job losses, representing a potential 9% paring of the companies’ combined workforce.

AXA, the world’s biggest insurer, owns 71% of DLJ, with its publicly traded shares racing to new highs in the mid-$80 range in light of a deal in which DLJ shareholders would get $90 per share. AXA would get $8.14 billion in cash and Credit Suisse stock.

If completed, the transaction would combine a pair of investment powerhouses active in media and entertainment underwriting and mergers, as well as in other business segments.

Among DLJ’s biggest deals was last year’s $100 million insurance-backed securitization for fledgling Hollywood movie producer Destination Films. AXA also participated in that deal, which had come about amid an enthusiasm for insurance-backed film financings that’s since waned and even turned litigious in several instances.

(Bloomberg News contributed to this report.)