Bank of America Corp’s (BAC) Merrill Lynch & Co. (MER) will pay the state of New Jersey $45 million to settle securities charges that it committed misconduct related to a stock purchase that the latter made in 2008. The investment bank is accused of breaching a contract provision that determined how the state was to exchange Merrill Lynch preferred stock for common stock.
New Jersey’s Division of Investments had purchased $300 million in preferred Merrill Lynch stock (Merrill Series 1 9% Mandatory Convertible Preferred Shares) in 2008. In 2009, the state’s attorney general at that time filed a NJ securities case against the financial firm contending that it had given “better terms” to at least another investor over the conversion of shares and issued misleading information about its financial state. By settling, Merrill Lynch is not denying or admitting to committing any wrongdoing.
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