Schwab to Acquire optionsXpress

The Charles Schwab Corporation has agreed to acquire optionsXpress Holdings, Inc., an online retail brokerage firm.

Under the terms of the agreement, optionsXpress stockholders will receive 1.02 shares of Schwab stock for each share of optionsXpress stock. Based on Schwab’s closing stock price as of March 18, 2011, the transaction values each optionsXpress share at $17.91, resulting in a total transaction value of approximately $1 billion, the companies said.

Both companies will initially retain their separate brand identities, while benefitting from significant synergies and capabilities across their complementary business lines. The deal is expected to close during the third quarter,

optionsXpress, launched in 2001 and headquartered in Chicago, offers online retail brokerage services, focused on equity options and futures. Its brokerage platform provides active investors and traders with trading tools, analytics and education to execute a variety of investment strategies.

Following the completion of the acquisition, David Fisher will continue to lead optionsXpress as its President, and become a Schwab Senior Vice President.