Skadden and Sullivan bag $16bn BlackRock roles

Manhattan-based firms Sullivan & Cromwell and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom advised on the $16bn (£9.2bn) mega-merger of Merrill Lynch’s asset management business and BlackRock, the fixed income manager.

The new company, which will operate under the BlackRock name, will control $1Tr in assets (£575bn), and have a presence in Europe, the US and Asia.

Sullivan advised Merrill Lynch, led by corporate partners Mitchell Eitel and John O’Brien.

Skadden represented BlackRock, led by partner Richard
Prins.

Founded in 1988 by chairman and chief executive Lawrence Fink, BlackRock is one of the largest asset managers in the US, generating earnings of $234m (£134.1m) last year.

Fink will remain at the top of the combined business; and Merrill will take a 49.8 per cent stake in the merged operation.

The agreement comes just weeks after Morgan Stanley abandoned merger talks with BlackRock.