Reports: BofA eyes sale of Merrill Lynch assets

AP News
Posted: Aug 16, 2011 6:37 PM
Reports: BofA eyes sale of Merrill Lynch assets

Two published reports say Bank of America Corp. is in talks with Blackstone Group LP over a possible deal to sell real estate assets previously owned by Merrill Lynch to the private-equity firm.

The reports in the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal on Tuesday each cited unidentified persons familiar with the matter.

The Financial Times' report said the deal could reach up to $1 billion, but also noted that a definitive deal hasn't been signed yet.

The Financial Times reported that the assets represent the bulk of Merrill Lynch's housing-boom era investments.

Bank of America declined to comment on Tuesday. The Charlotte, N.C., lender has been selling assets in a bid to raise capital and clear up its balance sheet.

An after-hours call to Blackstone was not immediately returned.