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Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. announced today that it received $850 million from Neuberger Berman Group LLC (“Neuberger Berman”) in connection with the retirement of its entire outstanding preferred equity holding in Neuberger Berman. The funds will be available as anticipated for unsecured creditors when Lehman makes its initial distribution, scheduled for April 17, 2012.
Lehman has disclosed previously that, when completed, its monetization of Neuberger Berman holdings will generate approximately $1.5 billion in aggregate proceeds – almost double what would have been generated by a competing offer received post-bankruptcy in 2008. Combined with prior proceeds, LBHI has now received over $1 billion since completing this transaction, which represents the Lehman estate’s largest monetization to date.
At the December 14, 2011 hearing before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, the transaction was described as a significant achievement for Lehman and a significant benefit for their creditors as well as illustrative of the strategy that the debtors have employed throughout these cases to enhance the Lehman estate's asset values.
William J. Fox, serving as CFO of Lehman since February 2009 and as a director of Neuberger Berman representing Lehman’s interest in Neuberger Berman, said: “This preferred share redemption is another important milestone in our continuing efforts to achieve maximum returns from our Neuberger Berman holdings. Importantly, this transaction provides an immediate and significant recovery to Lehman’s creditors, and we expect to provide additional value to creditors as Neuberger Berman moves toward 100% employee ownership over the next few years.”
Neuberger Berman, established in 1939 and independent for most of its history, expects to utilize excess cash flow and additional employee investments over the coming 4-5 years to retire the Estate’s remaining minority common interest in Neuberger Berman.