Merrill Hauls in $6.6B Lifeline

Recapitalization plans move forward as firm struggles to shake subprime debacle
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jan 15, 2008 6:05 AM CST
A man checks his PDA outside the headquarters of Merrill Lynch & Co., Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007, in New York.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Merrill Lynch has reached into the deep pockets of foreign investors once again, pulling in a $6.6-billion lifeline today from a consortium of investors that include Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group and the Kuwait Investment Authority, the Wall Street Journal reports. In December, Merrill received a $5-billion cash infusion from a fund run by the government of Singapore.

Strengthening Merrill’s bottom line is key for CEO John Thain, hired Dec. 1 as subprime mortgage losses led to $8.4 billion in writedowns and the biggest loss in Merrill’s history. Merrill’s stock plunged 42% in 2007. Other Wall Street firms have sold billion-dollar stakes to foreign governments as they’ve attempted to recapitalize, including Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns, and UBS.