Report: Lehman Eyes Spinoff of Remaining Assets

(Reuters) – Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, which sent global markets into a tailspin after filing for bankruptcy in September 2008, is looking at spinning off its remaining assets, the Wall Street Journal said in an unsourced article.

The assets include real-estate and private-equity holdings, the paper said, adding that the company is looking at investors who are willing to bet the assets will rise in value as the U.S. economy recovers.

Internal Lehman calculations have pegged the fair-market value of the assets at about $45 billion, according to the paper.

At non-distressed prices, Lehman values the assets at $400 billion, including $300 billion in the servicing of assets, the paper said.

Lehman still owes creditors some $200 billion, the paper said.

Lehman executives told the paper that their plan is first to legally separate the asset-holding company from the bankruptcy estate by the beginning of 2010 and later begin selling company shares to the public.

“This would be a bridge to a better time,” the paper quoted Bryan Marsal, Lehman’s chief restructuring officer, as saying. “Today’s market is an aberration. We don’t think it will stay like this.”

Lehman could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.

Its bankruptcy filing came as the global credit crisis engulfed Wall Street banks and many other financial companies, accelerating a massive selloff in world stock markets and further damaging credit markets.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Kim Coghill)