Barclays To Buy Lehman Prime Brokerage

Sep 18 2008 | 11:50am ET

Barclays has agreed to buy Lehman Brother’s North American investment-banking group, including its prime brokerage, just days after effectively forcing Lehman into bankruptcy.

New York-based Lehman filed for Chapter 11 on Monday after talks with Barclays about buying the whole of Lehman broke down. But yesterday, it agreed to pay $250 million for Lehman’s investment banking and capital markets operations in North America, which has about 10,000 employees. Barclays also agreed to pay another $1.5 billion for Lehman’s Times Square headquarters and two data centers in New Jersey.

“The proposed acquisition of Lehman Brothers North American investment banking and capital market operations accelerates the execution of our strategy of diversification by geography and business in pursuit of profitable growth on behalf of our shareholders, in particular increasing the percentage of Barclays earnings sourced in North America,” Barclays CEO John Varley said.

Barclays will also “immediately commence discussions” about buying Lehman operations outside of the U.S., Lehman said in a statement.

“This is a wonderful outcome for a great number of our employees that will preserve and strengthen our terrific franchise,” Lehman CEO Richard Fuld said.

Lehman is still in talks with private equity firms Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman about selling its investment management group.

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