Merrill Lynch Will Pay $45 Million To Resolve State Lawsuit Over Pension Fund Investment Losses

TRENTON –  Merrill Lynch & Co. has agreed to pay $45 million to the New Jersey Division of Investments to resolve litigation related to its handling of a stock purchase by the State five years ago, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced today. The Division of Investments manages assets for the State’s pension funds.

Merrill Lynch is making the payment to settle allegations that it breached a provision in a July 2008 contract in which the State exchanged its investment in Merrill Lynch preferred stock for Merrill Lynch common stock.

The State filed a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court in Hudson County in 2009, alleging breach of contract. After several years of litigation, Merrill Lynch and the State agreed to settle the matter amicably. Merrill Lynch has neither admitted nor denied liability.

“This is a fair and equitable outcome, and we are pleased to be recovering a substantial amount of dollars on behalf of New Jersey taxpayers. I also want to acknowledge Merrill Lynch for its readiness to seek a resolution that avoids further litigation,” said Chiesa.

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