Investment bank Lazard Ltd said on Sunday that Chairman and Chief Executive Bruce Wasserstein, a legendary dealmaker, had been hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat.

Wasserstein's condition is serious, but he is stable and recovering, Lazard said, adding that it will not be providing updates at this time.

Wasserstein, a rainmaker since the 1970s, has most recently been involved in the looming takeover battle between Kraft Foods Inc and Cadbury PLC .

The Wall Street veteran achieved fame as an adviser to buyout house KKR on its unprecedented acquisition of RJR Nabisco in 1989, which was recorded for posterity in the book, Barbarians at the Gate, by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar. Until a few years ago, the RJR takeover was the largest leveraged buyout in history.

(Reporting by Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Jan Paschal)