Legg Mason announced Thursday that it has sold all $1.8 billion of the structured investment vehicles held at par value by its money market funds, the company and through a total return swap with a bank.
The sale includes $1.4 billion of SIVs held by the money funds, $57 million by the company and $355 in the swap. All told, Legg Mason spent $1.2 billion on the transactions. It retains only $49 million in SIVs.
With the sales announced today, our money market funds are now completely SIV-free, said Legg Mason Chairman and CEO Mark R. Fetting. We are pleased that our business teams were able to resolve this issue and protect our money market franchise while our investment teams have focused on [their] goal of providing principal stability, credit quality and current income.
Fetting added: In persistently difficult markets, we took this final proactive step not only to resolve the SIV issue, but also to keep our balance sheet strong. With the expected tax refund, we will have $1 billion in available cash which will help protect Legg Masons profitability.
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