Merrill’s Blodget Accepts Buyout

One of investment banking’s most controversial and outspoken figures is leaving the coop. Last week, once-revered Internet analyst Henry Blodget, who in December 1998 predicted Amazon.com’s stock would hit $400, accepted a buyout offer from Merrill Lynch that is reportedly worth $2 million.

A year ago, Blodget was the top-ranked Internet analyst on Wall Street. And as his popularity waned after the dotcom boom went bust, he continued to receive support from Merrill Lynch – even after the firm settled a stock-related lawsuit with individual investor Debases Kanjilal in arbitration earlier this year.

After marrying last month, the 35-year-old Blodget is planning to write a book for Random House about-what else-the bursting of the Internet bubble.

Literary tendencies aren’t totally out of his realm of expertise, however. Blodget, who graduated from Yale University with a history degree, was once a fact-checker for Harper’s magazine.

“It just seemed like a good time to pursue the next thing,” the analyst said in a recent New York Times interview.

Blodget isn’t planning any book tours just yet, as he is expected to remain with Merrill until year-end.

His buyout comes at a time when Wall Street is experiencing its largest shakeout in years. Merrill offered a cornucopia of buyout offers to about 50,000 employees this month.

Colleen O’Connor can be contacted at:Colleen.Oconnor@tfn.com