Lehman Weighs Spinning Off $45B in Assets

In the most sweeping bankruptcy action yet, assets will become separate unit
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2009 7:52 AM CDT
In this Sept. 15, 2008 file photo, Lehman Brothers world headquarters is shown in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
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(Newser) – Bankrupt Lehman Brothers is preparing to spin off a grab-bag of assets worth $45 billion in their current state but as much as $400 billion at "nondistressed" prices, the Wall Street Journal reports. The planned sale of shares in the unit—the biggest move yet to unwind the failed investment bank—"would be a bridge to a better time," said Lehman's chief restructuring officer. "Today's market is an aberration. We don't think it will stay like this."

The unit, known as Lamco, employs some 2,300 people overseeing assets in three divisions—real estate, banking, and private equity—valued at $20 billion,  $13 billion, and $12 billion respectively. The spinoff company would create one of the nation’s largest real estate operators. The plan requires approval from Lehman’s creditors, now owed some $200 billion, and a bankruptcy judge.