It looks like Merrill Lynch (MER) really does want to unload its 20% stake in Bloomberg LP. CNBC’s Charles Gasparino reports the bank is in “preliminary talks” to sell its shares … to Bloomberg, which has right of first refusal. Merrill CEO John Thain puts the value of the stake at $5 to $6 billion. Bloomberg? Well, they’re thinking more like $3 billion.
Last spring, Goldman Sachs predicted Merrill would need to raise another $5-$10 billion to make up for the $30 billion or so it blew gambling on mortgages.