Investment bank Bear Stearns doesn't appear to be holding talks about selling a stake to Warren Buffett or any other investors, contrary to earlier reports.
Shares of Bear Stearns rose sharply after the New York Times reported Wednesday that the company was in serious talks with Buffett and several other investors, including Bank of America, Wachovia and two Chinese banks.
But people have told CNBC that at present, Bear Stearns isn't holding talks with anyone.
Citing unnamed people briefed on the discussions, the Times said the talks involved the sale of up to a 20 percent stake in Bear Stearns.
A Bear Stearns spokesman declined to comment to CNBC on a potential deal. Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett's investment firm, never comments on any activities beyond what the Securities and Exchange Commission requires.
Hedge Fund Turmoil
Bear Stearns has this summer faced the collapse of two hedge funds, asset writedowns and poor trading results, amid declines in subprime and other mortgages. Third-quarter profit slid 61 percent, although Bear said it believed the worst was over. The shares trade at about 1.3 times book value.