Bank of America is planning to off load its 34% stake in investment management firm BlackRock, which it acquired through the purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co in 2009.

Merrill retained a 49.8% stake in the company when it sold its Merrill Lynch Asset Management unit to BlackRock in 2006.

Off late, Bank of America has been shedding its stakes in various firms, which it considers as non-core assets. Very recently it sold its stakes in the Mexican unit of Banco Santander for $2.5bn.

According to a regulatory filing, Bank of America’s carrying value for the stake in BlackRock as of 30 June 2010 was $10.1bn, while the fair market value was $9.3bn.

On 29 September 2009, a lockup preventing a Bank of America sale of BlackRock expired freeing the bank to sell its stakes at its convenience.