New York: “Private equity firms Bain Capital LLC and Hellman & Friedman LLC were closer to a deal on Sunday night to buy Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc’s prized Neuberger Berman unit,” two sources familiar with the situation said.
“A deal could come as early as Monday, but is not finalized and still could take longer,” the sources said. It was unclear what the price for the asset would be.
Lehman said in a statement earlier in September that it was in advanced discussions with a number of bidders to sell the investment management division (IMD), which includes the crown jewel, Neuberger Berman.
An internal memo obtained by Reuters at the time said that the investment bank hoped to announce a deal for the division within a very short period of time.
The bank’s holding company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month after trying to finance too many risky assets with too little capital.
Citing people familiar with the situation, the Wall Street Journal on Monday said that a deal has been held up by issues including contract negotiations with Neuberger’s money managers as well as the details of a purchase of some of Lehman’s private-equity businesses.
According to the paper, the private equity companies would pay much less than Neuberger and Lehman’s other money-management assets would have fetched before Lehman filed for bankruptcy protection. It said the deal could still fall apart.
The company originally put just a majority stake of the arm up for sale but later sought a deal for the whole unit.