Switzerland's banking giant UBS AG is eyeing a takeover of Julius Baer Holding AG to expand its focus on private banking on its home turf, a Swiss newspaper reported Sunday.
On Friday, Julius Baer convened an extraordinary board meeting to discuss a merger or cooperation with the private banking arm of UBS, the Sunday newspaper SonntagsZeitung said.
On the stock exchange, Julius Baer is valued at $3.9 billion.
UBS, one of Europe's largest banks, would incorporate Julius Baer into its SBC Wealth Management holding — an umbrella for several UBS-owned private banks which all do business under their own name, the newspaper said.
After a merger, UBS' private banking group would have well over $163 billion in assets under management.
UBS is already the world's largest private bank. UBS and Julius Baer declined to comment.
In late trading Friday, renewed talk of a takeover sent shares of Julius Baer up 8.4 percent. UBS shares closed little changed.
There has been repeated talk that Julius Baer may become a takeover target or buy smaller rivals after the Baer family decided earlier this year to give up its voting control.