Refco sells stake to Thomas H. Lee Deal values futures traders at $2.25B By Steve Gelsi, CBS.MarketWatch.com NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- Refco on Tuesday confirmed plans by Thomas A. Lee Partners to take a majority stake in a deal that values the privately held financial-services firm at $2.25 billion. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but Thomas H. Lee, a Boston-based private equity firm, will essentially take the helm of the 3,000-employee futures trading and derivatives clearance firm with about $20 billion in assets. Press reports regarding a deal involving one of the world's largest retail futures brokerage firms surfaced late last month. Refco also specializes in the fixed-income and foreign-exchange markets. The investment would enable Refco to recapitalize its ownership, the company said. As part of the agreement with Thomas H. Lee, Refco's management team will retain a "significant" ownership stake in the company. The move clears the way for a potential initial public offering of Refco. Thomas H. Lee has been behind two recent IPOs: Endurance Specialty (ENH: news, chart, profile) and Axis Capital Holdings (AXS: news, chart, profile). Officials from Refco didn't immediately return a phone call. "Refco is an ideal fit with our strategy of investing in growth companies with leading market positions and strong management teams," said Scott Schoen, senior managing director of Thomas H. Lee Partners, in a statement. "The investment also complements our long-term commitment to the financial-services segment." Thomas H. Lee said Refco has "dramatically increased revenues, EBITDA and market share through strong internal growth and targeted acquisitions that have expanded the company's market access, customer base and product offerings." Bank of America (BAC: news, chart, profile), CS First Boston (CSR: news, chart, profile) and Deutsche Bank (DB: news, chart, profile) are financing the transaction.