Merrill Lynch Launches Auction Of Seized Bear Stearns Fund Assets, Sources Say [MER] 6/20/2007 7:52:37 PM Merrill Lynch & Co. (MER) on Wednesday launched an auction of assets from two troubled hedge funds controlled by Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. (BSC), sources said. Not every security was sold, but Merrill Lynch is believed to have sold enough to cover its exposure to the funds. About $850 million of securities were put up for sale, and a series of derivative positions will be put up for sale on Thursday. Bear Stearns had hoped its rivals who invested in the funds, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank, and dozens of other creditors, would allow it to put together a rescue plan. So far, only JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) have agreed to unwind positions without selling the assets on the open market, sources said. Merrill Lynch shares closed Wednesday's regular trading session at $87.68, down $2.36 or 2.62% but gained 2 cents in after hours trading. Bear Stearns shares closed the regular trading session at $143.20, down $3.59 or 2.45% but gained $1.66 or 1.16% in after hours trading. JPMorgan shares closed the regular trading session at $49.46, down $1.39 or 2.73% but gained 22 cents in after hours trading.