Secret Lehman Sale Talks Fail

South Korean, Chinese investors balk at hefty $5B price for half of troubled bank
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Aug 21, 2008 9:48 AM CDT
Traffic passes Lehman Brothers headquarters in New York.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Secret talks earlier this month to sell up to half of struggling US investment bank Lehman Brothers to South Korean or Chinese buyers fell apart after last-minutes squabbles over details, the Financial Times reports. The bank, which is expected to announce up to $4 billion in writedowns next month, was said to be asking 50% above its book value.

Government-owned Korea Development Bank and China’s Citic Securities met with Lehman officials in New York early this month. KDB and Lehman were close to a deal before talks broke down, possibly because Lehman was seeking almost $5 billion—far more than the sovereign wealth fund wanted to invest, the Telegraph adds. Talks with Citic were more exploratory.