Morgan Stanley gets regulatory approval to buy remaining stake in joint venture for $4.7B

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Morgan Stanley is getting regulatory approval to buy the 35 per cent stake of a joint venture with Citigroup that it doesn’t already own for $4.7 billion.

The bank said Friday that gaining full ownership of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Holdings LLC, which operates under the name Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, is one of its key strategic priorities.

Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management Group and Citigroup Inc.’s Smith Barney merged in 2009 during the recession.

Morgan Stanley Chairman and CEO James Gorman says full ownership will help expand its deposit base and offer unique syndication and distribution capabilities.

The deal’ is expected to close on June 28.

Shares of Morgan Stanley slid nearly 3 per cent, or 66 cents, to $24.49 in early trading.