As has been rumored fro a few weeks now, Merrill Lynch is in negotiations to sell its 20 percent stake in Bloomberg, as the cash-strapped investment firm is looking for ways to raise more money, reports NYP. A blind trust run by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the founder, is emerging as the probable buyer. Merrill owns a 20 percent stake in the financial data provider, and provided seed money in 1981 for the mayor to launch the business. Bloomberg also has the right of first refusal to buy the stake, and with limited number of buyers, that seems the most likely possibility.
Analysts have valued Merrill’s stake at about $5 billion to $6 billion, but no agreement has been reached over the valuation, reports NYTimes. In a twist, Merrill may help Bloomberg finance a buyback of the stake, the story says.