Merrill May Be A Merger Mogul At Last

It reaches for the elite ranks of M&A with record deals

Apr. 23 will be remembered by investment bankers at Merrill Lynch & Co. for a long time. On that day, Bell Atlantic Corp. officially announced its massive $23 billion merger with Nynex Corp., one of the largest deals in history, and Cisco Systems Inc. agreed to acquire Stratacom Inc. for $4 billion. In a clean sweep, Merrill Lynch served as adviser to both Bell Atlantic and Cisco. On the 30th floor of Merrill Lynch's Manhattan headquarters, where its mergers and acquisitions department is based, the mood was euphoric. "We have gotten to the promised land," jokes Jack Levy, co-head of M&A at Merrill.

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