Mellon Bank Corp. shares surged 7.46% to $63 on more than double the usual trading volume, amid speculation that the Pittsburgh bank may be acquired by Bank of New York Co.
Traders said Bank of New York is offering as much as $82 a share for Mellon - which would be a 30% premium.
Experts said Bank of New York's $21 billion market capitalization - and the trading multiple of its shares - would enable it to buy Mellon's, which has $15 billion of market capitalization. Both companies stock trades at and trade at about 18 times next year's earnings, analysts noted.
The deal makes sense, they said, because the companies share strong processing divisions and trust businesses.
Bank of New York's shares gained 31.25 cents to $56.9375. J.P. Morgan & Co. was also named as a possible buyer. Its shares fell $1.9375 to $123.50.
A spokesman for Mellon declined to comment.