In one of its last independent acts, Wheat First Butcher Singer Inc. earned $785,000, a standard 10-basis-point fee, for advising investment bank Roney & Co. to sell to First Chicago NBD Corp.

Wheat First has since merged with First Union Corp., a rival of First Chicago NBD, and is now known as Wheat First Union.

According to a regulatory filing issued Friday, First Chicago NBD is to pay $79.9 million for Roney, which is based in Detroit and had 1997 revenues of $98.5 million.

First Chicago NBD will pay $54.85 million and distribute $25.05 million to the firm's principals on the basis of the size of their stake. It will also pay $15.1 million in stock in a bid to keep key Roney employees.

In the filing, Roney said it had been approached by two other banks and one regional brokerage about a sale before selling to First Chicago NBD.

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