Dresdner Bank

is in talks to buy U.S. investment bank

Wasserstein Perella

in a deal that could be worth between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion, according to

The Wall Street Journal

, citing people familiar with the matter.

A deal between the two would increase Dresdner's presence in mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. Wasserstein Perella is the fifth-largest merger-and-acquisition adviser in the country, and Dresdner's investment house

Dresdner Kleinwort Benson

is fourteenth.



reported that although merger talks are in advanced stages, the companies still have not agreed on a price, so talks could still collapse.

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The talks follow on the heels of several major deals in financial services.

Credit Suisse First Boston

announced last month that it is


Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette


. And in

July Swiss Bank


agreed to buy