NEW YORK CITY-Published reports continue to circulate regarding the possible sale of one of New York’s, and the nation’s, leading investment banks, Wasserstein & Perella & Co., to German-based Dresdner Bank AG. The sale, if it goes through, would be only for certain operations within the organization.

Latest reports indicate that the offer by Dresdner is up to anywhere from $1.3 to $1.5 billion and an additional $150,000 to $200,000 to retain staff members considered key to Wasserstein’s operations. This could include Bruce Wasserstein himself, possibly to take on a role as co-head of the combined company.

The merger would strengthen Dresdner’s American presence and would also expand Wasserstein’s European exposure. Part of the negotiations revolve around the exact mechanics of maintaining all of Wasserstein’s holdings, a step that some speculate could play a critical role in the success or failure of the deal, and a point that caused prior talks with others to fall through. Included in the block of holdings under discussion are Wasserstein’s investment banking operations, its advisory business and its bond practice. Reports have indicated that its private equity activities would not be included in any sale. LLC is owned by US Equities Partners LP, a private equity investment fund sponsored by Wasserstein Perella & Co., and would not be affected by the deal. US Equity is a leading investor in the rapidly growing on-line media and the Internet.

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