Dresdner Buys Wasserstein Perella

Dresdner Bank plans to buy the U.S. investment bank Wasserstein Perella Group Inc. for about $1.37 billion in stock.

The deal disclosed today is the latest in a series of trans-Atlantic matchups involving European and U.S. financial firms.

Wasserstein Perella will be merged with Dresdner Bank’s investment banking unit Dresdner Kleinwort Benson under the new brand of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Dresdner Bank’s executive board said.

The move, subject to approval by Dresdner’s supervisory board, will strengthen the bank’s investment banking activities particularly in the area of merger-and-acquisition advisory services.

More Cross-Atlantic Consolidation

Shareholders of Wasserstein Perella will receive 30.5 million new Dresdner Bank ordinary shares from authorized capital, subject to adjustment depending on Wasserstein’s closing balance sheet. At recent prices, this corresponds to a purchase price of approximately $1.369 billion, Dresdner said.

Dresdner said the supervisory board is expected to approve the deal at its Sept. 20 meeting. “After the necessary authorizations from the regulatory authorities have been obtained, the transaction is expected to close within the fourth quarter of 2000,” the German bank added.

Wasserstein Perella was founded in 1988 by Bruce Wasserstein and Joseph Perella, who were merger-and-acquisitions bankers at what was then First Boston Corp. Wasserstein remains with the firm but Perella left in1993.

Among the deals on which the firm has played a role were the $25 billion merger of Swiss Bank Corp and UBS and the $10 billion merger of Morgan Stanley & Co. and Dean Witter Discover & Co.

Cross-Atlantic consolidation in the financial services industry has included Credit Suisse Group’s agreement to pay $11.5 billion in cash and stock for the U.S. investment firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc. Earlier this summer, Swiss banking giant UBS AG agreed to pay $11 billion for the U.S. firm Paine Webber Group Inc.