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Rating:MLIM Exec Denies Sale of Unit Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

MLIM Exec Denies Sale of Unit

News summary by MFWire's editors

Merrill Lynch Investment Management (MLIM) is back off the block. Merrill Lynch's head of finance emphasized the importance of MLIM to a Dow Jones reporter on Tuesday.

"It's a very core part of the business," Ahmass Fakahany, the company's chief financial officer, told the reporter. "We are not divesting," Fakahany said.

Merrill hopes to make MLIM "a bigger part of Merrill Lynch," through "opening its architecture and making alliances and joint ventures where they make sense," said Fakahany.

News that Legg Mason would acquire a stake in MLIM hit the stands in late May. At that time, a banker told Bloomberg that the asset manager could go for $6.4 billion or more, while an anonymous source told the NY Post that industry watchers had it all wrong -- the unit was not for sale.

In the Post's scenario, MLIM and Legg Mason would form an operations company spin-off that would be majority-owned by MLIM. This scenario still seems consistent with Fakahany's statements.

Regarding the Legg Mason deal specifically, Dow Jones reported that Fakahany commented only "[Merrill is] busy trying to grow this business and looking at alternatives." 

Edited by: Theresa Sim

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