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May 22, 2007 11:31 am

Anyone see the WSJ article on the merger talks (or rumors)?  Any thoughts?

May 22, 2007 1:15 pm

Anyone see the WSJ article on the merger talks (or rumors)?  Any thoughts?

Got links?

May 22, 2007 1:29 pm

I think it was about Lehman getting acquired by either UBS or HSBC. The article was speculating on Lehmans' future.

May 22, 2007 10:55 pm

I have links at my work computer.  (The whole two-weeks notice thing won't let me log in from home anymore).  Will post tomorrow.

Yes, the article referenced possible acquisitions from either UBS or HSBC.  Probably just speculation, but in either event, would be a major deal for any firm involved if it actually happens. 

Not sure about HSBC, but UBS already has around 80,000 employees worldwide...

May 23, 2007 7:42 am

Link is requires WSJ membership to access; here is an excerpt:

A Marriage of Convenience for UBS and Lehman?
Posted by Dana Cimilluca
Does the combination of two risk-averse cultures yield a new, free-wheeling approach to risk?
That’s the question — a variation on the old “Do Two Wrongs Make a Right” theme — Deal Journal is asking itself following widespread rumors on Wall Street recently of a possible investment-banking marriage between UBS and Lehman Brothers.

In a column published in The Wall Street Journal today, Rob Cox of BreakingViews
explores the possibility, indicating that a reluctance to put Lehman’s capital at risk may be responsible for its lackluster performance lately, when compared with rivals Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley. As we’ve noted here and here, UBS gets a similar rap — at a time when fortune in the debt and M&A markets has most assuredly favored the bold.

BreakingViews says Lehman executives downplay the need for such a deal and people in the UBS camp have told Deal Journal something similar.

Still, the two banks have complimentary strengths. Lehman is strong in bonds, while UBS is an equity powerhouse; UBS is strong in Europe and other markets abroad where Lehman is a laggard. Both have come on strong in M&A, currently ranking sixth and seventh in world-wide announced deals this year, respectively, according to Thomson Financial. A combined bank would definitely be a stronger challenger to perennial leader Goldman Sachs. All that probably is why talk of a possible combination between the two banks refuses to die.

There’s another area of commonality lately: the loss of high-profile banking talent. In a postbonus season that has seen surprisingly little shuffling of the deck chairs on Wall Street, UBS and Lehman have lost two of their biggest stars in Ken Moelis (president of UBS’s investment bank) and Woody Young (Lehman’s telecom banker extraordinaire). A deal between the two firms could trigger a flood of such departures, and that may be the biggest risk of all.