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<<NEW YORK, May 22 /PRNewswire/ -- LaBranche & Co Inc. (NYSE: LAB - news), parent of one of the leading Specialist firms on the New York Stock Exchange, announced today that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire Bocklet & Co., LLC, the tenth largest Specialist firm on the New York Stock Exchange. Bocklet acts as the Specialist for 60 listed companies, seven of which are in the S&P 500 Index.

Michael LaBranche, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LaBranche, commented, ``This transaction underscores our commitment to providing service through an expanded platform of trading expertise and technology. Our prospective new partner is a firm with high quality stocks that present opportunities for improved trading through increased capital strength and enhanced capital utilization. Upon completion of the proposed transaction, LaBranche will act as the Specialist for 572
companies representing approximately 28% of the dollar volume traded on the NYSE.'>>

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