BOFA CEO Ken Lewis: Merrill (MER) Probably Would Have Survived

How this for a ringing endorsement of your new $50 billion division:

Louise Story reports that Ken Lewis of Bank of America, on a conference call this morning, said he believed Merrill Lynch was “more likely than not” to survive the current turmoil. (Floyd Norris)

Ken said in the press conference that he weighed waiting but bought Merrill now because he didn’t think he could call the bottom, and he didn’t want someone else to grab it.

Given how fast Merrill’s stock price could have been crushed without the deal, this still seems hasty. Wait a day and more likely than not Merrill’s stock would have been down hard again.

Under the circumstances, Merrill would seem to have gotten a good deal here. But boy what a disaster for a firm whose stock nearly hit $100 about a year ago.

See Also: Bank of America Crushed on Bizarrely High Merrill Bid



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