Banks prepare to fight over the choice cuts

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JPMorgan's purchase of Highbridge has settled buyer nerves and established a valuation model

When JPMorgan announced its plans to acquire a majority stake in the multi-strategy hedge fund shop Highbridge, news also surfaced that Lehman Brothers was thinking of increasing its stake in London-based hedge fund manager GLG. Suddenly, the industry was gripped by merger mania. Countless other names were thrown into the pot, with a long list of investment banks, asset managers and private equity-style investors rumored to be ready to pounce.

It is easy to understand the excitement. JPMorgan was willing agree to put