Lehman Prime Brokerage Clients OK Distribution Plan

Dec 30 2009 | 12:33pm ET

Lehman Brothers prime brokerage clients have approved a plan that will release some US$11 billion in assets frozen as part of the investment bank’s bankruptcy proceedings in London.

Administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers said its claim resolution agreement was approved by more than 90% of the affected clients of Lehman Brothers International Europe, including some of the largest and most prominent hedge funds in the world. The firm plans to begin returning those assets next year.

“The claim resolution agreement now provides an agreed basis on which to systematically settle clients’ claims and reunite them with their assets,” administrator Steven Pearson said.

That will be quite a relief to clients—among them Ramius Capital and GLG Partners—who haven’t had access to their money since Sept. 15, when LBIE went into administration. PwC has successfully returned some US$13.3 billion to clients since then, but hit a snag when British courts repeatedly rejected its earlier settlement plans for the US$11 billion in prime brokerage assets.

The 1,000 clients covered by the agreement, primarily hedge funds, have until March 19 to file their claims.

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