H&R Block Buys Discount Stock Brokerage

H&R Block solidified a deal Wednesday to buy Olde Financial Corp., a discount stock brokerage based in Detroit. The company was bought for a reported $850 million in cash, and is intended to provide an estimated 16.5 million H&R Block customers with a greater range of financial services. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

The purchase is H&R Block's largest acquisition ever, and follows on the heels of July's the acquisition of McGladrey & Pullen. In related news, H&R Block said it is investigating options for its wholesale mortgage unit, Option One, so that it can focus more on the retail mortgage business.

H&R Block also plans to expand its growing network with financial centers offering financial services, mortgages and tax preparation by the end of 1999, with locations in California, Arizona, Illinois and the eastern United States.

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