Merrill Lynch could sell stake in Bloomberg
Robert MacMillan of Reuters reports that Merrill Lynch is interested in selling its 20 percent stake in Bloomberg L.P., the parent of Bloomberg News, for about $5 billion to $6 billion, and that New York mayor Mike Bloomberg might be an interested buyer.
MacMillan writes, “Sovereign wealth funds, flush with cash; private equity; or media rivals — like News Corp., General Electric Co., with its CNBC business news television channel unit, and Financial Times publisher Pearson PLCÂ — could see it as an alluring asset.
“‘It’s a very important strategic asset. There’s nothing quite like it,’ said Rick Wetmore, analyst at Turner Investment Partners, who managed about $26 billion as of the end of March. ‘There’s a whole host of organizations that would like it: sovereign wealth, private equity, a big media company.’
“New York Mayor Bloomberg, who founded the company and still owns around 70 percent, could use some of his estimated $10 billion fortune in buying Merrill out.
“Financial data about the privately held Bloomberg is hard to come by, but David Anderson at Inside Market Data Reference, who follows news and data services like Bloomberg and its primary competitor, Thomson Reuters Corp, said Bloomberg’s 2007 revenue was about $5.4 billion.”
Read more here.