Home equity lender Cityscape Financial Corp. announced Monday that it will end its contract with a controversial consultant, Jay Botchman, when it expires at yearend.

Cityscape also announced that a mutual fund company led by investor Michael Price is buying Mr. Botchman's stake in the firm - options equalling 14% of its shares - for $80 million. The company, Franklin Mutual Advisors, is a unit of Franklin Resources, San Mateo, Calif.

The options, exercisable Jan. 7, would allow Mr. Price's firm to buy more than 4.1 million shares from Cityscape chief executive Robert Grosser, vice chairman Robert Patent, and director Asher Fensterheim.

Cityscape's stock has slid in recent weeks amid reports of Mr. Botchman's previous business dealings with John Galanis, who is in prison for securities fraud. Following the announcement, the company's stock price jumped more than 10%, to close at TK.

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