EX-99.1 3 y71399exv99w1.htm EX-99.1: STOCK OPTION AGREEMENT EX-99.1
Exhibit 99.1
THE TRANSFER OF THIS AGREEMENT IS SUBJECT TO
CERTAIN PROVISIONS CONTAINED HEREIN AND TO
RESALE RESTRICTIONS UNDER THE
SECURITIES ACT OF 1933, AS AMENDED
          STOCK OPTION AGREEMENT, dated September 15, 2008, between MERRILL LYNCH & CO., INC., a Delaware corporation (“Issuer”), and BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION, a Delaware corporation (“Grantee”).
W I T N E S S E T H:
          WHEREAS, Grantee and Issuer have entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger of even date herewith (the “Merger Agreement”), which agreement has been executed by the parties hereto in connection with this Stock Option Agreement (the “Agreement”); and
          WHEREAS, as a condition to Grantee’s entering into the Merger Agreement and in consideration therefor, Issuer has agreed to grant Grantee the Option (as hereinafter defined);
          NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing and the mutual covenants and agreements set forth herein and in the Merger Agreement, the parties hereto agree as follows:
          1. (a) Issuer hereby grants to Grantee an unconditional, irrevocable option (the “Option”) to purchase, subject to the terms hereof, up to 304,421,097 fully paid and nonassessable shares of Issuer’s Common Stock, par value $1.331/3 per share (“Common Stock”), at a price of $17.05 per share (the “Option Price”); provided, however, that in no event shall the number of shares of Common Stock for which this Option is exercisable exceed 19.9% of the Issuer’s issued and outstanding shares of Common Stock without giving effect to any shares subject to or issued pursuant to the Option. The number of shares of Common Stock that may be received upon the exercise of the Option and the Option Price are subject to adjustment as herein set forth.
          (b) In the event that any additional shares of Common Stock are either (i) issued or otherwise become outstanding after the date of this Agreement (other than pursuant to this Agreement) or (ii) redeemed, repurchased, retired or otherwise cease to be outstanding after the date of this Agreement, the number of shares of Common Stock subject to the Option shall be increased or decreased, as appropriate, so that, after such issuance, such number equals 19.9% of the number of shares of Common Stock then issued and outstanding without giving effect to any shares subject or issued pursuant to the Option. Nothing contained in this Section 1(b) or elsewhere in this Agreement shall be deemed to authorize Issuer or Grantee to breach any provision of the Merger Agreement.
          2. (a) The Holder (as hereinafter defined) may exercise the Option, in whole or part, and from time to time, if, but only if, both an Initial Triggering Event (as hereinafter defined) and a Subsequent Triggering Event (as hereinafter defined) shall have occurred prior to the occurrence of an Exercise Termination Event (as hereinafter defined), provided that the Holder shall have sent the written notice of such exercise (as provided in

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subsection (e) of this Section 2) within 180 days following such Subsequent Triggering Event. Each of the following shall be an “Exercise Termination Event”: (i) the Effective Time (as defined in the Merger Agreement) of the Merger; (ii) termination of the Merger Agreement in accordance with the provisions thereof if such termination occurs prior to the occurrence of an Initial Triggering Event except a termination by Grantee pursuant to Section 8.1(d) (unless the breach by Issuer giving rise to such right of termination is non-volitional) or Section 8.1(e) of the Merger Agreement; or (iii) the passage of 18 months after termination of the Merger Agreement if such termination follows the occurrence of an Initial Triggering Event or is a termination by Grantee pursuant to Section 8.1(d) (unless the breach by Issuer giving rise to such right of termination is non-volitional) or Section 8.1(e) of the Merger Agreement. The term “Holder” shall mean the holder or holders of the Option.
          (b) The term “Initial Triggering Event” shall mean any of the following events or transactions occurring after the date hereof:
          (i) Issuer or any of its Subsidiaries (each an “Issuer Subsidiary”), without having received Grantee’s prior written consent, shall have entered into an agreement to engage in an Acquisition Transaction (as hereinafter defined) with any person (the term “person” for purposes of this Agreement having the meaning assigned thereto in Sections 3(a)(9) and 13(d)(3) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”), and the rules and regulations thereunder) other than Grantee or any of its Subsidiaries (each a “Grantee Subsidiary”) or the Board of Directors of Issuer shall have recommended that the stockholders of Issuer approve or accept any Acquisition Transaction with any person other than Grantee or a Subsidiary of Grantee. For purposes of this Agreement, “Acquisition Transaction” shall mean (w) a merger, consolidation or share exchange, or any similar transaction, involving Issuer or any Significant Subsidiary (as defined in Rule 1-02 of Regulation S-X promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”)) of Issuer, (x) a purchase, lease or other acquisition or assumption of all or a substantial portion of the assets or deposits of Issuer or any Significant Subsidiary of Issuer, (y) a purchase or other acquisition (including by way of merger, consolidation, share exchange or otherwise) of securities representing 10% or more of the voting power of Issuer, (provided that this clause (y) shall not be triggered as a result of Temasek Capital (Private) Limited or its subsidiaries acquiring beneficial ownership of 10% or more of the outstanding shares of Common Stock solely as a result of their holdings of Common Stock as of the date hereof taken together with their acquisition of additional shares of Common Stock under their existing agreement to purchase Common Stock entered into with Issuer on July 28, 2008), or (z) any substantially similar transaction; provided, however, that in no event shall any merger, consolidation, purchase or similar transaction involving only the Issuer and one or more of its Subsidiaries or involving only any two or more of such Subsidiaries, be deemed to be an Acquisition Transaction, provided that any such transaction is not entered into in violation of the terms of the Merger Agreement;
          (ii) Any event set forth in Section 8.1(e) of the Merger Agreement shall have occurred;
          (iii) Any person other than Grantee, any Grantee Subsidiary or any Issuer Subsidiary acting in a fiduciary capacity in the ordinary course of its business shall have acquired beneficial ownership or the right to acquire beneficial ownership of 10% or more of the outstanding shares of Common Stock (the term “beneficial ownership” for purposes of this Agreement having the meaning assigned thereto in Section 13(d) of the 1934 Act, and the rules and regulations thereunder); provided that this clause (iii) shall

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not be triggered as a result of Temasek Capital (Private) Limited or its subsidiaries acquiring beneficial ownership of 10% or more of the outstanding shares of Common Stock solely as a result of their holdings of Common Stock as of the date hereof taken together with their acquisition of additional shares of Common Stock under their existing agreement to purchase Common Stock entered into with Issuer on July 28, 2008;
          (iv) Any person other than Grantee or any Grantee Subsidiary shall have made a bona fide proposal to Issuer or its stockholders that is public or becomes the subject of public disclosure to engage in an Acquisition Transaction;
          (v) After the receipt by Issuer or its stockholders of any bona fide inquiry or proposal (or the bona fide indication of any intention to propose) from a third party to engage in an Acquisition Transaction, Issuer shall have breached any covenant or obligation contained in the Merger Agreement and such breach (x) would entitle Grantee to terminate the Merger Agreement and (y) shall not have been cured prior to the Notice Date (as defined below); or
          (vi) Any person other than Grantee or any Grantee Subsidiary, other than in connection with a transaction to which Grantee has given its prior written consent, shall have filed an application or notice with the Federal Reserve Board, or other federal or state bank regulatory authority, which application or notice has been accepted for processing, for approval to engage in an Acquisition Transaction.
          (c) The term “Subsequent Triggering Event” shall mean either of the following events or transactions occurring after the date hereof:
          (i) The acquisition by any person of beneficial ownership of 20% or more of the then outstanding Common Stock; or
          (ii) The occurrence of the Initial Triggering Event described in paragraph (i) of subsection (b) of this Section 2, except that the percentage referred to in clause (y) shall be 20%.
          (d) Issuer shall notify Grantee promptly in writing of the occurrence of any Initial Triggering Event or Subsequent Triggering Event of which it has knowledge, it being understood that the giving of such notice by Issuer shall not be a condition to the right of the Holder to exercise the Option.
          (e) In the event the Holder is entitled to and wishes to exercise the Option, it shall send to Issuer a written notice (the date of which being herein referred to as the “Notice Date”) specifying (i) the total number of shares it will purchase pursuant to such exercise and (ii) a place and date not earlier than three business days nor later than 60 business days from the Notice Date for the closing of such purchase (the “Closing Date”); provided that if prior notification to or approval of the Federal Reserve Board or any other regulatory agency is required in connection with such purchase, the Holder shall as soon as reasonably practicable file the required notice or application for approval and shall expeditiously process the same and the period of time that otherwise would run pursuant to this sentence shall run instead from the date on which any required notification periods have expired or been terminated or such approvals

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have been obtained and any requisite waiting period or periods shall have passed. Any exercise of the Option shall be deemed to occur on the Notice Date relating thereto.
          (f) At the closing referred to in subsection (e) of this Section 2, the Holder shall pay to Issuer the aggregate purchase price for the shares of Common Stock purchased pursuant to the exercise of the Option in immediately available funds by wire transfer to a bank account designated by Issuer, provided that failure or refusal of Issuer to designate such a bank account shall not preclude the Holder from exercising the Option.
          (g) At such closing, simultaneously with the delivery of immediately available funds as provided in subsection (f) of this Section 2, Issuer shall deliver to the Holder a certificate or certificates representing the number of shares of Common Stock purchased by the Holder and, if the Option should be exercised in part only, a new Option evidencing the rights of the Holder thereof to purchase the balance of the shares purchasable hereunder, and the Holder shall deliver to Issuer this Agreement and a letter agreeing that the Holder will not offer to sell or otherwise dispose of such shares in violation of applicable law or the provisions of this Agreement.
          (h) Certificates for Common Stock delivered at a closing hereunder may be endorsed with a restrictive legend that shall read substantially as follows:
“The transfer of the shares represented by this certificate is subject to certain provisions of an agreement between the registered holder hereof and Issuer and to resale restrictions arising under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. A copy of such agreement is on file at the principal office of Issuer and will be provided to the holder hereof without charge upon receipt by Issuer of a written request therefor.”
          It is understood and agreed that: (i) the reference to the resale restrictions of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”), in the above legend shall be removed by delivery of substitute certificate(s) without such reference if the Holder shall have delivered to Issuer a copy of a letter from the staff of the SEC, or an opinion of counsel, in form and substance reasonably satisfactory to Issuer, to the effect that such legend is not required for purposes of the 1933 Act; (ii) the reference to the provisions of this Agreement in the above legend shall be removed by delivery of substitute certificate(s) without such reference if the shares have been sold or transferred in compliance with the provisions of this Agreement and under circumstances that do not require the retention of such reference; and (iii) the legend shall be removed in its entirety if the conditions in the preceding clauses (i) and (ii) are both satisfied. In addition, such certificates shall bear any other legend as may be required by law.
          (i) Upon the giving by the Holder to Issuer of the written notice of exercise of the Option provided for under subsection (e) of this Section 2 and the tender of the applicable purchase price in immediately available funds, the Holder shall be deemed to be the holder of record of the shares of Common Stock issuable upon such exercise, notwithstanding that the stock transfer books of Issuer shall then be closed or that certificates representing such shares of Common Stock shall not then be actually delivered to the Holder. Issuer shall pay all expenses, and any and all United States federal, state and local taxes and other charges that may be payable

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in connection with the preparation, issuance and delivery of stock certificates under this Section 2 in the name of the Holder or its assignee, transferee or designee.
          3. Issuer agrees: (i) that it shall at all times maintain, free from preemptive rights, sufficient authorized but unissued shares of Common Stock so that the Option may be exercised without additional authorization of Common Stock after giving effect to all other options, warrants, convertible securities and other rights to purchase Common Stock; (ii) that it will not, by charter amendment or through reorganization, consolidation, merger, dissolution or sale of assets, or by any other voluntary act, avoid or seek to avoid the observance or performance of any of the covenants, stipulations or conditions to be observed or performed hereunder by Issuer; (iii) promptly to take all action as may from time to time be required (including (x) complying with all premerger notification, reporting and waiting period requirements specified in 15 U.S.C. § 18a and regulations promulgated thereunder and (y) in the event, under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the “BHCA”), or the Change in Bank Control Act of 1978, as amended, or any state banking law, prior approval of or notice to the Federal Reserve Board or to any state or other regulatory authority is necessary before the Option may be exercised, cooperating fully with the Holder in preparing such applications or notices and providing such information to the Federal Reserve Board or such other regulatory authority as they may require) in order to permit the Holder to exercise the Option and Issuer duly and effectively to issue shares of Common Stock pursuant hereto; and (iv) promptly to take all action provided herein to protect the rights of the Holder against dilution.
          4. This Agreement (and the Option granted hereby) are exchangeable, without expense, at the option of the Holder, upon presentation and surrender of this Agreement at the principal office of Issuer, for other Agreements providing for Options of different denominations entitling the holder thereof to purchase, on the same terms and subject to the same conditions as are set forth herein, in the aggregate the same number of shares of Common Stock purchasable hereunder. The terms “Agreement” and “Option” as used herein include any Stock Option Agreements and related Options for which this Agreement (and the Option granted hereby) may be exchanged. Upon receipt by Issuer of evidence reasonably satisfactory to it of the loss, theft, destruction or mutilation of this Agreement, and (in the case of loss, theft or destruction) of reasonably satisfactory indemnification, and upon surrender and cancellation of this Agreement, if mutilated, Issuer will execute and deliver a new Agreement of like tenor and date. Any such new Agreement executed and delivered shall constitute an additional contractual obligation on the part of Issuer, whether or not the Agreement so lost, stolen, destroyed or mutilated shall at any time be enforceable by anyone.
          5. In addition to the adjustment in the number of shares of Common Stock that are purchasable upon exercise of the Option pursuant to Section 1 of this Agreement, the number of shares of Common Stock purchasable upon the exercise of the Option and the Option Price shall be subject to adjustment from time to time as provided in this Section 5. In the event of any change in, or distributions in respect of, the Common Stock by reason of stock dividends, split-ups, mergers, recapitalizations, combinations, subdivisions, conversions, exchanges of shares, distributions on or in respect of the Common Stock that would be prohibited under the terms of the Merger Agreement, or the like, the type and number of shares of Common Stock purchasable upon exercise hereof and the Option Price shall be appropriately adjusted in such manner as shall fully preserve the economic benefits provided hereunder and proper provision

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shall be made in any agreement governing any such transaction to provide for such proper adjustment and the full satisfaction of the Issuer’s obligations hereunder.
          6. Upon the occurrence of a Subsequent Triggering Event that occurs prior to an Exercise Termination Event, Issuer shall, at the request of Grantee delivered within 180 days of such Subsequent Triggering Event (whether on its own behalf or on behalf of any subsequent holder of this Option (or part thereof) or any of the shares of Common Stock issued pursuant hereto), promptly prepare, file and keep current a shelf registration statement under the 1933 Act covering this Option and any shares issued and issuable pursuant to this Option and shall use its reasonable best efforts to cause such registration statement to become effective and remain current in order to permit the sale or other disposition of this Option and any shares of Common Stock issued upon total or partial exercise of this Option (“Option Shares”) in accordance with any plan of disposition requested by Grantee. Issuer will use its reasonable best efforts to cause such registration statement first to become effective and then to remain effective for such period not in excess of 180 days from the day such registration statement first becomes effective or such shorter time as may be reasonably necessary to effect such sales or other dispositions. Grantee shall have the right to demand two such registrations. The foregoing notwithstanding, if, at the time of any request by Grantee for registration of the Option or Option Shares as provided above, Issuer is in registration with respect to an underwritten public offering of shares of Common Stock, and if in the good faith judgment of the managing underwriter or managing underwriters, or, if none, the sole underwriter or underwriters, of such offering the inclusion of the Holder’s Option or Option Shares would interfere with the successful marketing of the shares of Common Stock offered by Issuer, the number of Option Shares otherwise to be covered in the registration statement contemplated hereby may be reduced; provided, however, that after any such required reduction the number of Option Shares to be included in such offering for the account of the Holder shall constitute at least 25% of the total number of shares to be sold by the Holder and Issuer in the aggregate; and provided further, however, that if such reduction occurs, then the Issuer shall file a registration statement for the balance as promptly as practicable and no reduction shall thereafter occur. Each such Holder shall provide all information reasonably requested by Issuer for inclusion in any registration statement to be filed hereunder. If requested by any such Holder in connection with such registration, Issuer shall become a party to any underwriting agreement relating to the sale of such shares, but only to the extent of obligating itself in respect of representations, warranties, indemnities and other agreements customarily included in secondary offering underwriting agreements for the Issuer. Upon receiving any request under this Section 6 from any Holder, Issuer agrees to send a copy thereof to any other person known to Issuer to be entitled to registration rights under this Section 6, in each case by promptly mailing the same, postage prepaid, to the address of record of the persons entitled to receive such copies. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, in no event shall Issuer be obligated to effect more than two registrations pursuant to this Section 6 by reason of the fact that there shall be more than one Grantee as a result of any assignment or division of this Agreement.
          7. (a) Immediately prior to, or after, the occurrence of a Repurchase Event (as defined below), (i) following a request of the Holder, delivered prior to an Exercise Termination Event, Issuer (or any successor thereto) shall repurchase the Option from the Holder immediately prior to the Repurchase Event (or, as requested by the Holder, after the Repurchase Event) at a price (the “Option Repurchase Price”) equal to the product of the number of shares

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for which this Option may then be exercised multiplied by the amount by which (A) the Market/Offer Price (as defined below) exceeds (B) the Option Price, and (ii) at the request of the owner of Option Shares from time to time (the “Owner”), delivered prior to an Exercise Termination Event and within 90 days of the occurrence of a Repurchase Event (or such later period as provided in Section 10), Issuer shall repurchase such number of the Option Shares from the Owner as the Owner shall designate at a price (the “Option Share Repurchase Price”) equal to the Market/Offer Price multiplied by the number of Option Shares so designated. The term “Market/Offer Price” shall mean the highest of (i) the price per share of Common Stock at which a tender offer or exchange offer therefor has been made, (ii) the price per share of Common Stock to be paid by any third party pursuant to an agreement with Issuer, (iii) the highest closing price for shares of Common Stock within the six-month period immediately preceding the date the Holder gives notice of the required repurchase of this Option or the Owner gives notice of the required repurchase of Option Shares, as the case may be, or (iv) in the event of a sale of all or a substantial portion of Issuer’s assets, the sum of the price paid in such sale for such assets and the current market value of the remaining assets of Issuer as determined by a nationally recognized investment banking firm selected by the Holder or the Owner, as the case may be, and reasonably acceptable to the Issuer, divided by the number of shares of Common Stock of Issuer outstanding at the time of such sale. In determining the Market/Offer Price, the value of consideration other than cash shall be determined by a nationally recognized investment banking firm selected by the Holder or Owner, as the case may be, and reasonably acceptable to the Issuer.
          (b) The Holder and the Owner, as the case may be, may exercise its right to require Issuer to repurchase the Option and any Option Shares pursuant to this Section 7 by surrendering for such purpose to Issuer, at its principal office, this Agreement or certificates for Option Shares, as applicable, accompanied by a written notice or notices stating that the Holder or the Owner, as the case may be, elects to require Issuer to repurchase this Option and/or the Option Shares in accordance with the provisions of this Section 7. Within the latter to occur of (x) five business days after the surrender of the Option and/or certificates representing Option Shares and the receipt of such notice or notices relating thereto and (y) the time that is immediately prior to the occurrence of a Repurchase Event, Issuer shall deliver or cause to be delivered to the Holder the Option Repurchase Price and/or to the Owner the Option Share Repurchase Price therefor or the portion thereof, if any, that Issuer is not then prohibited under applicable law and regulation from so delivering.
          (c) To the extent that Issuer is prohibited under applicable law or regulation from repurchasing the Option and/or the Option Shares in full, Issuer shall immediately so notify the Holder and/or the Owner and thereafter deliver or cause to be delivered, from time to time, to the Holder and/or the Owner, as appropriate, the portion of the Option Repurchase Price and the Option Share Repurchase Price, respectively, that it is no longer prohibited from delivering, within five business days after the date on which Issuer is no longer so prohibited; provided, however, that if Issuer at any time after delivery of a notice of repurchase pursuant to paragraph (b) of this Section 7 is prohibited under applicable law or regulation from delivering to the Holder and/or the Owner, as appropriate, the Option Repurchase Price and the Option Share Repurchase Price, respectively, in full (and Issuer hereby undertakes to use its best efforts to obtain all required regulatory and legal approvals and to file any required notices, in each case as promptly as practicable in order to accomplish such repurchase), the Holder or Owner may

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revoke its notice of repurchase of the Option or the Option Shares either in whole or to the extent of the prohibition, whereupon, in the latter case, Issuer shall promptly (i) deliver to the Holder and/or the Owner, as appropriate, that portion of the Option Repurchase Price or the Option Share Repurchase Price that Issuer is not prohibited from delivering; and (ii) deliver, as appropriate, either (A) to the Holder, a new Stock Option Agreement evidencing the right of the Holder to purchase that number of shares of Common Stock obtained by multiplying the number of shares of Common Stock for which the surrendered Stock Option Agreement was exercisable at the time of delivery of the notice of repurchase by a fraction, the numerator of which is the Option Repurchase Price less the portion thereof theretofore delivered to the Holder and the denominator of which is the Option Repurchase Price, or (B) to the Owner, a certificate for the Option Shares it is then so prohibited from repurchasing.
          (d) For purposes of this Section 7, a “Repurchase Event” shall be deemed to have occurred (i) upon the consummation of an Acquisition Transaction with respect to Issuer (and not solely involving one or more subsidiaries of Issuer) (except that the percentage referred to in clause (y) of the definition thereof shall be 50%) or (ii) upon the acquisition by any person of beneficial ownership of 50% or more of the then outstanding shares of Common Stock.
          8. [Intentionally Omitted]
          9. [Intentionally Omitted]
          10. The 90-day or 180-day periods for exercise of certain rights under Sections 2, 6, 7 and 13 shall be extended: (i) to the extent necessary to obtain all regulatory approvals for the exercise of such rights and for the expiration of all statutory waiting periods; and (ii) to the extent necessary to avoid liability under Section 16(b) of the 1934 Act by reason of such exercise.
          11. Issuer hereby represents and warrants to Grantee as follows:
          (a) Issuer has full corporate power and authority to execute and deliver this Agreement and to consummate the transactions contemplated hereby. The execution and delivery of this Agreement and the consummation of the transactions contemplated hereby have been duly and validly authorized by the Board of Directors of Issuer and no other corporate proceedings on the part of Issuer are necessary to authorize this Agreement or to consummate the transactions so contemplated. This Agreement has been duly and validly executed and delivered by Issuer.
          (b) Issuer has taken all necessary corporate action to authorize and reserve and to permit it to issue, and at all times from the date hereof through the termination of this Agreement in accordance with its terms will have reserved for issuance upon the exercise of the Option, that number of shares of Common Stock equal to the maximum number of shares of Common Stock at any time and from time to time issuable hereunder, and all such shares, upon issuance pursuant hereto, will be duly authorized, validly issued, fully paid, nonassessable, and will be delivered free and clear of all claims, liens, encumbrance and security interests and not subject to any preemptive rights.

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          (c) The Board of Directors of Issuer has unanimously approved this Agreement and the transactions contemplated hereby (including by reserving shares for issuance of shares of Common Stock on exercise of the Option) and taken any other action as required to render inapplicable to such agreement and transactions Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law and, to the knowledge of Issuer, any similar Takeover Statutes.
          12. Grantee hereby represents and warrants to Issuer that:
          (a) Grantee has all requisite corporate power and authority to enter into this Agreement and, subject to any approvals or consents referred to herein, to consummate the transactions contemplated hereby. The execution and delivery of this Agreement and the consummation of the transactions contemplated hereby have been duly authorized by all necessary corporate action on the part of Grantee. This Agreement has been duly executed and delivered by Grantee.
          (b) The Option is not being, and any shares of Common Stock or other securities acquired by Grantee upon exercise of the Option will not be, acquired with a view to the public distribution thereof and will not be transferred or otherwise disposed of except in a transaction registered or exempt from registration under the 1933 Act.
          13. Neither of the parties hereto may assign any of its rights or obligations under this Agreement or the Option created hereunder to any other person, without the express written consent of the other party, except that in the event a Subsequent Triggering Event shall have occurred prior to an Exercise Termination Event, Grantee, subject to the express provisions hereof, may assign in whole or in part its rights and obligations hereunder within 180 days following such Subsequent Triggering Event (or such later period as provided in Section 10); provided, however, that until the date 15 days following the date on which the Federal Reserve Board approves an application by Grantee under the BHCA to acquire the shares of Common Stock subject to the Option, Grantee may not assign its rights under the Option except in (i) a widely dispersed public distribution, (ii) a private placement in which no one party acquires the right to purchase in excess of 2% of the voting shares of Issuer, (iii) an assignment to a single party (e.g., a broker or investment banker) for the purpose of conducting a widely dispersed public distribution on Grantee’s behalf, or (iv) any other manner approved by the Federal Reserve Board.
          14. Each of Grantee and Issuer will use its best efforts to make all filings with, and to obtain consents of, all third parties and governmental authorities necessary to the consummation of the transactions contemplated by this Agreement, including without limitation making application to list the shares of Common Stock issuable hereunder on the New York Stock Exchange upon official notice of issuance and applying to the Federal Reserve Board under the BHCA for approval to acquire the shares issuable hereunder, but Grantee shall not be obligated to apply to state banking authorities for approval to acquire the shares of Common Stock issuable hereunder until such time, if ever, as it deems appropriate to do so.
          15. [Intentionally Omitted]

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          16. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, in no event shall the Grantee’s Total Profit (as hereinafter defined) exceed $2 billion and, if it otherwise would exceed such amount, the Grantee, at its sole election, shall either (i) reduce the number of shares of Common Stock subject to this Option, (ii) deliver to Issuer for cancellation Option Shares previously purchased by Grantee, (iii) pay cash to Issuer, or (iv) any combination thereof, so that Grantee’s actually realized Total Profit shall not exceed $2 billion after taking into account the foregoing actions.
          (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, this Option may not be exercised for a number of shares as would result in a Notional Total Profit (as defined below) of more than $2 billion.
          (c) As used herein, the term “Total Profit” shall mean the aggregate amount (before taxes) of the following: (i) the amount received by Grantee pursuant to Issuer’s repurchase of the Option (or any portion thereof) pursuant to Section 7, (ii) (x) the amount received by Grantee pursuant to Issuer’s repurchase of Option Shares pursuant to Section 7, less (y) the Grantee’s purchase price for such Option Shares, (iii) (x) the net cash amounts received by Grantee pursuant to the sale of Option Shares (or any other securities into which such Option Shares are converted or exchanged) to any unaffiliated party, less (y) the Grantee’s purchase price of such Option Shares, (iv) any amounts received by Grantee on the transfer of the Option (or any portion thereof) to any unaffiliated party, and (v) any amount equivalent to the foregoing with respect to the Substitute Option.
          (d) As used herein, the term “Notional Total Profit” with respect to any number of shares as to which Grantee may propose to exercise this Option shall be the Total Profit determined as of the date of such proposed exercise assuming that this Option were exercised on such date for such number of shares and assuming that such shares, together with all other Option Shares held by Grantee and its affiliates as of such date, were sold for cash at the closing market price for the Common Stock as of the close of business on the preceding trading day (less customary brokerage commissions).
          17. The parties hereto acknowledge that damages would be an inadequate remedy for a breach of this Agreement by either party hereto and that the obligations of the parties hereto shall be enforceable by either party hereto through injunctive or other equitable relief.
          18. If any term, provision, covenant or restriction contained in this Agreement is held by a court or a federal or state regulatory agency of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, void or unenforceable, the remainder of the terms, provisions and covenants and restrictions contained in this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect, and shall in no way be affected, impaired or invalidated. If for any reason such court or regulatory agency determines that the Holder is not permitted to acquire, or Issuer is not permitted to repurchase pursuant to Section 7, the full number of shares of Common Stock provided in Section 1(a) hereof (as adjusted pursuant to Section 1(b) or 5 hereof), it is the express intention of Issuer to allow the Holder to acquire or to require Issuer to repurchase such lesser number of shares as may be permissible, without any amendment or modification hereof.

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          19. All notices, requests, claims, demands and other communications hereunder shall be deemed to have been duly given when delivered in person, by cable, telegram, telecopy or telex, or by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested) at the respective addresses of the parties set forth in the Merger Agreement.
          20. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, regardless of the laws that might otherwise govern under applicable principles of conflicts of laws thereof (except to the extent that mandatory provisions of federal or state law apply).
          21. This Agreement may be executed in two counterparts, each of which shall be deemed to be an original, but all of which shall constitute one and the same agreement.
          22. Except as otherwise expressly provided herein, each of the parties hereto shall bear and pay all costs and expenses incurred by it or on its behalf in connection with the transactions contemplated hereunder, including fees and expenses of its own financial consultants, investment bankers, accountants and counsel.
          23. Except as otherwise expressly provided herein or in the Merger Agreement, this Agreement contains the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the transactions contemplated hereunder and supersedes all prior arrangements or understandings with respect thereof, written or oral. The terms and conditions of this Agreement shall inure to the benefit of and be binding upon the parties hereto and their respective successors and permitted assigns. Nothing in this Agreement, expressed or implied, is intended to confer upon any party, other than the parties hereto, and their respective successors and permitted assigns, any rights, remedies, obligations or liabilities under or by reason of this Agreement, except as expressly provided herein.
          24. Capitalized terms used in this Agreement and not defined herein shall have the meanings assigned thereto in the Merger Agreement.

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          IN WITNESS WHEREOF, each of the parties has caused this Agreement to be executed on its behalf by its officers thereunto duly authorized, all as of the date first above written.
         
  MERRILL LYNCH & CO., INC.
(Issuer)
 
 
  By:   /s/ John A. Thain  
    Name:   John A. Thain   
    Title:   Chairman and Chief Executive Officer   
 
         
  BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION
(Grantee)
 
 
  By:   /s/ Kenneth D. Lewis  
    Name:   Kenneth D. Lewis   
    Title:   Chairman and Chief Executive Officer   
 

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