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Sources: Goldman Sachs Not Buying Lehman

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) is not pursuing an acquisition of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc (LEH.N), reflecting concerns that integrating two large investment banks would be too disruptive, sources familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

As Lehman stock plunged 37 percent to a new low of $4.52 a share, there was market speculation that Goldman, the largest and strongest securities firm on Wall Street, would step in and acquire its struggling rival.

While reporting a third-quarter loss and a series of restructuring moves, Lehman on Wednesday also announced it was “examining all strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.” Some analysts and investors interpreted the remark as meaning the Lehman was looking to sell the firm.

Goldman declined to comment, citing its policy on market speculation. Lehman declined to make an immediate comment.

(Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone, editing by Maureen Bavdek)