From the Lehman report (Volume 8 – Appendices 8-22):
As early as 2006 or 2007, Fuld met with Marcel Ospel, Chairman of the Board of
UBS, to discuss a potential merger. Fuld suggested that Lehman merge with
Warburg, UBS’s investment banking unit, and that UBS finance the merger, and
Lehman run the combined firm. Fuld and Ospel met in Switzerland and New York
City in connection with that potential deal. Fuld thought that a possible Lehman
merger with UBS remained a real possibility. In February 2008, Lehman drafted an
analysis regarding a merger with UBS. That analysis noted that UBS took
significantly larger than expected write‐downs in the fourth quarter of 2007, and that
UBS also disclosed significant exposure to high risk assets.294 However, on April 2,
2008, Ospel was replaced as Chairman of UBS because of its large subprime losses, and
subsequently the deal faded away. Over the course of April and May 2008, there
were passing references to potential transactions with UBS by Jeremy M. Isaacs, CEO of
LBIE, Jeffrey L. Weiss, Co‐Head of Global Finance, and David Goldfarb, Lehman’s
Global Head of Strategic Partnerships, in e‐mails to Fuld, but there were no serious
discussions with UBS at that time.
Seems like Mr. Ospel was replaced just in time. I am sure that’s not the end of the story here.
It get’s better still. According to the Financial Times, it seems that Barclays eyed UBS as potential takeover candidate as well.
Hat tip: Tages Anzeiger