Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Barclays acquired the bulk of Leh for 1.75 bil

Barclays is buying a stripped-clean version of Lehman's North American business, which will include most of its people, franchise, brand name, technology and clients but won't include the risky trades and liabilities that had hurt Lehman in the markets before its Chapter 11 bankruptcy-court filing. The price tag, for what was roughly half the entire company, appears to value the business at a tiny fraction of what it would have fetched 18 months ago. The acquisition includes Lehman's headquarters building, built in 2001 and currently worth between $600 million to $900 million, according to real-estate brokers. By comparison, the company's entire stock-market value in early 2007 was $45 billion. After subtracting the value of the headquarters and two data centers, Barclays said it is paying just $250 million for the business and its trading assets of $72 billion and liabilities of $68 billion. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Barclays," Mr. Diamond said in a statement. As the talks continued Tuesday with no resolution, bankers said the ultimate sale price for the asset-management units could be as low as $3.5 billion, much less than the $5 billion or even $10 billion figures estimated until recently. Some of the bidders may team up to make a so-called "club" bid.

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