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Merrill Selling Bloomberg, Gasparino Reports

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Merrill Lynch has sold its stake in Bloomberg LLP for $4.5 billion, CNBC's Charlie Gasparino is reporting. No deal has yet been made for Merrill's stake in Blackrock.
Merrill has been under pressure to raise additional capital. But with investors in recent rounds of equity sales still stinging from sagging share prices and Merrill wary of alienating shareholders with further stock dilution, the company has reportedly turned to asset sales. Others on Wall Street have followed a similar pattern. Citigroup, for instance, recently sold its German assets to raise capital.
Gasparino says that Merrill has sold other assets as well but will not sell any part of the Blackrock stake. The deal will be announced tomorrow, Gasparino reports.
The reports of asset sales have widely been read as telegraphing another major write-down at Merrill, which some say as high as $6.5 billion.
(We've been reporting a lot of news from CNBC lately. We apologize for how excellent they've been and promise to resume making fun of them and objectifying their women as soon as possible. Someone at Bloomberg has to be cursing themselves right now that they didn't get this scoop.)


Ken Lewis's Great Idea Pad Sells For $3.15 Million

They said it couldn't be done. They said it didn't matter if it was $4.5 million or $2.5 million or if they were giving it away. They said potentials buyers wouldn't be swayed by the pitch to "sleep where Angelo Mozilo hath slept, after a few too many troughs of Boone's farm" (AKA "The Mozilo Bedroom"), or to impress guests with the cocktail party fodder that "that chair you're sitting in right now the very one Ken Lewis was sitting in when he decided to buy Merrill Lynch, can't get better investing karma than that." They said the vomit stains on the rug would not be a selling point. They were wrong.