Dec. 30, 2002 — Merrill Lynch (MER) said it will eliminate its Mercury brand for mutual funds sold through third parties in the U.S. and offer all its funds under its own name.

The company’s Merrill Lynch Investment Managers unit said some Mercury funds will be renamed and, pending shareholder approval, others will be combined with Merrill Lynch funds.

In the reorganization, five Mercury stock funds and two bond funds will be merged into similar Merrill Lynch offerings, the firm said in regulatory filings. The mergers are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2003.

The Mercury equity funds being merged out of existence are Mercury Small-Cap Value Fund, Mercury Basic Value Fund, Mercury Large-Cap Growth Fund, Mercury Large-Cap Value Fund, and Mercury Large-Cap Core Fund. The fixed-income funds slated to be eliminated are the Mercury Low Duration Fund/I (MLOIX) and the Mercury U.S. High-Yield Fund.

Merrill Lynch began offering its mutual funds that are sold through third parties under the Mercury name in August 2000.