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July 17, 2008 6:51 PM

Sidley, SullCrom, Willkie On Merrill Sale to Bloomberg LP

Posted by Zach Lowe

Sullivan & Cromwell and Sidley Austin advised Merrill Lynch as the bank, hit with massive losses due to the credit crisis, sold its 20 percent stake in Bloomberg LP back to Bloomberg for $4.4 billion, lawyers on the deal say.

The two sides finalized the sale on the same day that Merrill posted a $4.65 billion quarterly loss--its fourth consecutive quarterly loss and one even bigger than analysts expected.

Bloomberg watchers were happy since the deal helped analysts pin down New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's worth for the first time, since his company is private. Analysts estimated the mayor's net worth at about $22.5 billion.

The Sullivan team consisted of partners Neil McKnight, Hydee Feldstein, and Dennis Sullivan; M&A partner Stephen Kotran; tax partner Andrew Mason; and bank regulatory partners Mitchell Eitel and H. Rodgin Cohen. The firm is a regular outside counsel to Merrill. Sidley partners on the deal were: Norman Slonaker, Paul Adams, Jim Wright, Prabhat Mehta, Mark Wiltshire and Jim Clark.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher, led by partner William Hiller, is advising Bloomberg on the deal. Other Willkie partners on the deal included: Richard DeScherer, Dan Grossman, Carol Mascera, Maurice Lefkort and Hillel Jacobson.

 

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