The banking world is rife with takeover and acquisition talk Yesterday a new rumor added to the cacophony of chatter about JP Morgan Chase getting into the acquisition game , private equity eyeing financial services firms, and the ongoing bidding war for ABN Amro. The newest rumor is that the Jeffries Group may be acquired, possibly by MassMutual.
Reuter’s quotes an options guy on the rumors.
"There is a rumor that MassMutual will make a bid for Jefferies Group between now and Friday," said William Lefkowitz, an options strategist at brokerage firm vFinance Investments in New York.
In recent months, the options market and rumor mill has been a surprisingly accurate predictor of buyouts. In fact, the accuracy of the options markets at predicting takeover announcements has prompted some to worry that insider-trading has become widespread. At the Dow Jones’ Wall Street Journal’s Deal Journal (which, we guess, might be called DJ WSJ WJ but we’ll stick with Deal Journal), the boys have begun to wonder if it might be smart to assume that all takeover rumors are true.
We spoke briefly to someone insider Jeffries who told us that the rumor was on everyone’s lips at the mid-sized bank.
“Everyone’s joking about how we might be working for an insurance company by the end of the week,” he told us.
Mass Mutual is shorthand for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.
Jefferies shares, options up on takeover talk [Reuters]