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Source: Lehman Not in Sales Talks

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc (LEH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is not in talks for a sale of the firm and Chief Executive Richard Fuld is not considering a merger, a person close to the company said on Wednesday.

Earlier, CNBC cited Wall Street insiders as saying Fuld was weighing a sale.

Lehman declined to comment.

The fate of Lehman, the smallest of the major Wall Street investment banks, has been the subject of intense speculation in the past few weeks. Many analysts have speculated it could be a takeover candidate.

The fourth-largest U.S. investment bank posted its first quarterly loss as a public company on Monday, but Fuld said then that the company's franchise and capital position were strong.

In response to a question on a conference call after Lehman announced its results, Fuld said: “I have said many times that I very much believe that, with this franchise's strength and power, we can go it alone.”

But he added that, if a potential buyer came forward, he had an obligation to take it to the board of directors.

Lehman's shares were down $1.32, or 5.3 percent, to $23.82 on the New York Stock Exchange.

By Paritosh Bansal

(Editing by Steve Orlofsky)