Bankers Trust denies being in merger talks Takeover speculation sends stock higher


September 19, 1997|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

NEW YORK -- Bankers Trust New York Corp. yesterday said it's not in merger talks, after takeover speculation drove its stock up as much as 13 percent.

"Bankers Trust is not engaged in discussions or negotiations about a business combination with any firm," the nation's seventh largest bank said in a statement. "On the contrary, we remain focused on the exciting opportunities inherent in our existing businesses."

Investors are speculating that the bank will be bought. Bankers Trust stock rose $7.19 to $125.50. The shares had surged to $133.63 before trading in them was halted in anticipation of the company's announcement.

"The reason the stock is up again is that the market doesn't believe" Bankers Trust's denial, said Art Hogan, a block trader at Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter, & Discover & Co.

UBS Securities Inc. may have fueled the rise. Salesmen from the firm called customers yesterday recommending that they buy Bankers Trust shares, said Stephen Berman, an analyst at Stein, Roe & Farnham, which owned 328,125 Bankers Trust shares at the end of June. The salesmen told investors that UBS analyst Thomas Hanley had said Travelers Group Inc. was to acquire the company for more than $160 a share, Berman said.

CNBC reported that Hanley remains confident that Bankers Trust will be acquired by Travelers.

New York-based Travelers sells insurance, makes loans and owns the brokerage firm Smith Barney Inc. It couldn't buy Bankers Trust unless the bank forfeited its banking charter, lawyers said.

There has been considerable speculation about mergers in the banking and brokerage industries since Bankers Trust agreed to buy Baltimore-based Alex. Brown Inc. in April.

Pub Date: 9/19/97

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