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Legg Mason Sells $1B in Notes to KKR

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The Baltimore-based asset management firm Legg Mason said January 14 that it will sell $1.25 billion of convertible senior notes to an affiliate of the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR). Legg said it will use some of the proceeds of that sale to repurchase and retire from Citigroup preferred stock that is convertible into 2.5 million shares of its common stock. In addition, KKR Member Scott Nuttall will be recommended for election to the Legg Mason Board. In a statement announcing the transactions, Chip Mason, chairman and CEO, said the deal “materially increased the company’s liquidity.” Legg Mason said it expected earnings for the third quarter ended December 31, 2007 to be between $1.20 and $1.25 per share, excluding a $0.16 per share charge “related to a reduction in the market value of Asset Backed Commercial paper held by certain of the company’s money market funds.”