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MGM Mirage Hires Advisers

UBS will help the company evaluate Kirk Kerkorian's bid to buy two casinos.

MGM Mirage (MGM) - Get MGM Resorts International (MGM) Report said Friday that it has hired UBS to advise it on billionaire Kirk Kerkorian's interest in buying two of the firm's prime Las Vegas properties.

Kerkorian, who owns 56% of MGM's stock,

said Tuesday that he wanted to buy the company's Bellagio casino and its massive City Center development.

Some analysts have speculated that MGM may approve a stock-for-asset swap with Kerkorian. Others believe Kerkorian's move is the first step in putting all of MGM up for sale.

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MGM has formed an independent committee to evaluate its options.

Shares of MGM were up $1.94, or 2.5%, to $78.70 early Friday. The stock has surged 25% this week on news of Kerkorian's interest.