D.E. Shaw & Co. will lay off 264 employees-about 25% of it work force- and sell several business units in anticipation of severing its ties with BankAmerica Corp., the firm announced Wednesday.

The New York-based hedge fund and securities firm said it began looking for a partner or buyer for its financial products group last week. It also said Wednesday that it has spun off certain assets of its "third market" subsidiary-a unit that makes over-the-counter trades of exchange-listed stocks- to Trimark Securities Inc. of White Plans, N.Y.

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