Merrill's Neptune deal ends up in court

The high-profile deal between shipping company Neptune Marine and a group of investors introduced by Merrill Lynch, hits an unexpected legal roadblock.

Two-and-a-half months ago, when founding CEO Idar Iversen bought control of drill-ship owner and operator Neptune Marine Oil Gas with the help of financing arranged by Merrill Lynch, it appeared the investment bank had pulled off yet another privately placed and company-transforming deal.

Merrill brought nine investors into the deal, which was put in place in a record six weeks, and also committed its own money through two separate entities.

But since then the $185 million transaction has hit a...

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