Lehman Brothers is shopping a piece of its investment management unit, the Wall Street Journal reports, joining other large banks in shedding strong-performing businesses to offset mortgage meltdown losses. Lehman’s management business, which includes Neuberger Berman and hosts 27 mutual funds managing $22 billion in individual and institutional wealth, has been a rare bright spot for the company.
Potential buyers include private-equity firms Carlyle Group, Hellman and Friedman and General Atlantic; the publicly-traded Blackstone Group has reportedly expressed an interest as well. The business has been valued at $8-10 billion, just shy of Lehman’s overall market cap, eroded by a 77% drop in share price this year. Merill Lynch and Citigroup have both sold off divisions of their firms recently to generate cash in an illiquid marketplace.