Shareholders approve Bank of America deal for Merrill Lynch
Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch won approval from shareholders of both firms Friday, marking the final chapter for the Wall Street icon battered by the housing and credit crisis.
Approval by Merrill shareholders was followed hours later by a positive vote from Bank of America stock owners, setting the stage for closing of the deal, which has been cleared by US and European antitrust regulators.
The all-stock acquisition, initially valued at 50 billion dollars when it was announced September 15, now carries a value of 19.7 billion dollars, due to the slide in the price of Bank of America shares.
"When this transaction closes, Bank of America will have the premier financial services franchise anchored by the cornerstone relationship products and services of deposits, credit and debit cards, mortgages and wealth management," said Bank of America chairman and chief executive Kenneth Lewis.