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$2 for Lehman Assets

There is always a price someone is willing to pay for something, even as devalued as Lehman Bros. See this report from the Wall Street Journal today:

Nomura Holdings Inc. paid a nominal sum of $2 for the rump of bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in Europe and the Middle East, a person familiar with the situation said.

Earlier this week, Nomura said it had acquired Lehman's equities and investment banking franchises in Europe, which employs about 2,500 bankers, for a nominal sum that it didn't disclose. Separately, Nomura also bought the Wall Street firm's operations in the Asia Pacific region, with its 3,000-strong staff, for $225 million.

A Nomura spokesman declined to comment on the price it paid for the assets.

The low prices reflect the effort by senior Lehman executives and the insolvency administrators', PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Europe and KPMG in Asia, to save jobs. Rival bidder, British bank Barclays PLC, was interested in acquiring a smaller part of Lehman's business in Europe.

Nomura is taking on the responsibility of the former Lehman bankers' salaries but none of the bankrupt firm's liabilities. Talks on compensation packages are continuing.

Anthony Randazzo is Director of Economic Research


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