Monday, November 17, 2008
Ken Lewis' Next Mistake - Not Backing Away From Merrill Lynch
Well, at least it WAS WORTH around $50 billion for a moment there back in September.
Today, Merrill Lynch's market cap is about $19 billion. The stock is down from to 11.78 as I type this. Initially, the Bank of America bid valued MER at roughly $29 per share.
Don't even for a second tell me that BAC is what dropped Merrill Lynch. Merrill would probably be bankrupt otherwise.
When I tell y'all that they're laughing at Ken in Manhattan....I'm not exaggerating a little bit. I've got hearsay evidence from the *trenches*.
It would have been bad enough if Ken Lewis agreed to take over MER at a price of zero. Instead, he diluted his stock to the tune of $50 billion.
Though it was said by many at the announcement of the merger, I'll say it again here:
If Merrill Lynch needed to be taken over...then it certainly didn't warrant a premium.
But it's time now for Ken Lewis to walk away from this deal. He's been duped by the more sophisticated Wall Streeters on this one. John Thain appealed to Ken's gargantuan ego and it worked like a charm. Lewis may as well have been a fanny-pack wearing tourist at a professional poker table - he was bent over that easily.
Note that today, at $65 per share, the venerable Goldman Sachs is worth less than $25 billion - half of what Kenny bid for Merrill!
If only Ken had waited....
Alright Kenneth Lewis, last chance, back out of this ill-fated Merrill deal to prove that you are at least slightly smarter than a box of rocks.