OLD Media Moves

Deal with Merrill would value Bloomberg organization at $22 billion

July 16, 2008

Michael de la Merced of the New York Times reports that Merrill Lynch & Co. will sell its 20 percent stake in Bloomberg LP back to its founder in a deal that values the news and information company at $22 billion.

Bloombergde la Merced writes, “The deal will probably be announced on Thursday, when Merrill is expected to report a quarterly loss. It is part of Merrill Lynch’s efforts to shore up its capital base, as it continues to suffer from bad mortgage bets that have led to billions of dollars in losses.

“The sale of Merrill’s stake would also give an official value to Bloomberg, which has jealously guarded information about its profitability, and to the wealth of the man who founded the company and who remains its principal owner. Mr. Bloomberg is a fixture on listings of the wealthiest people in the world, but much of his wealth is tied to his 72 percent stake in the company. By buying Merrill’s stake, Mr. Bloomberg will own nearly 100 percent of the company.

“News reports have estimated the company’s annual operating profit at about $1.5 billion.”

Read more here.

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