Barclays told federal regulators today that it is walking away from talks to buy all or part of Lehman Brothers. Barclays reportedly balked at a request that shareholders approve the agreement, a process that could take weeks—and left some wondering why the demand came up as late as today. But Barclays may only be walking away as a negotiating tactic, the Wall Street Journal reports.
If the UK bank returns to the table, it must also convince British regulators it’s strong enough to handle the deal, and questions remain over whether the bank’s two bosses can agree to buyout terms. Bank of America, the other contending bidder, quit talks this morning, saying it would not help buy out Lehman without financial support from Washington.