Just days after Lehman Brothers sold off $1.75 billion in assets to the British bank Barclays, the bankrupt giant is in talks to sell its investment-management unit to private equity firms Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman, according to sources familiar with the deal.
Bloomberg first reported the talks on its Web site on September 11.
A lawyer familiar with the deal says Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Lehman's bankruptcy counsel, is handling the deal on Lehman's end. The source says Ropes & Gray is representing Bain, a longtime Ropes client. Ropes has represented Bain in several recent deals, including its $11 billion acquisition -- as part of a consortium of firms -- of SunGard, a data systems company, in 2005.
Ropes partner Alfred Rose has advised on most of the Bain deals, according to his bio. Rose did not return a call or e-mail seeking comment. A Ropes spokesman declined comment on the deal.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is advising Hellman & Friedman on the deal, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Hellman is a longtime Cleary client. The firm advised the private equity fund on at least three major deals last year, including its purchase of a minority stake in Grosvenor Capital Management, a manager of funds of hedge funds with $24 billion in assets, according to Cleary's Web site. The firm declined comment on the possible Lehman deal.
It is unclear how much Lehman might draw for its investment management unit, which includes the Neuberger-Berman fund management business, Bloomberg says. Experts valued the unit at $7 billion before Lehman's bankruptcy filing, but Bloomberg says Bain and Hellman made separate bids worth about $4 billion each earlier this month before deciding to team up.
This article first appeared on the AmLaw Daily blog.