is hearing offers for Paine Webber
, The Financial Times reported
Tuesday. If the wirehouse, a giant mutual fund distribution outlet, ends up selling, it would be the fifth and final wirehouse to change hands or merge since December 31.
UBS chief executive Oswald Grübel
told the FT that Paine Webber is not a critical component of the Swiss Bank, but he implied that a sale would have to wait for higher offers.
“We've had a lot of inquiries from potential buyers,” he said. “But it wouldn't make sense to sell at current valuations."
In February, The MFWire reported
that UBS and Wachovia, owned by Wells Fargo, were considering combining their U.S. wirehouses. And in June 2008, Reuters speculated
on the possible sale of Paine Webber. Apparently, no deal ever reached the light of day, though.
UBS bought Paine Webber in 2000 for about $10 billion.
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