Merrill Lynch (MER) has reached a deal to sell its 20% stake in Bloomberg LP for $4.5 to $5 billion, the WSJ reports. The buyer: Bloomberg LP, which had right of first refusal. But the headline here is the eyepopping valuation the deal puts on Bloomberg LP: about $25 billion.
This also means New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who founded and still owns 68% of the company, is worth around $17 billion. Forbes had most recently guesstimated his honour’s net worth at $11.5 billion.
Merrill needs the cash to help cover some of the $29 billion in bad mortgage debt accumulated after the housing bubble burst.