The Work

September 29, 2008 5:20 PM

UPDATE: Weil, Ropes, and Cleary on Newest Lehman Sell-Off

Posted by Zach Lowe

Update, 9/29 at 4:20 p.m.: Lehman Brothers will sell much of its money management business, including its asset management unit, Neuberger Berman, to Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman for about $2.15 billion in cash (the price is about 20 percent higher than estimates first reported a week ago). As reported today by the New York Times's Dealbook, the Neuberger business is among the biggest outstanding issues for Lehman.

As we previously noted, Ropes & Gray advised Bain Capital on the acquisition, and a team from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advised Hellman & Friedman. Individual lawyers working on the matter from Ropes and Cleary have been added below. --Dimitra Kessenides

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 18.

A lawyer familiar with the deal says Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Lehman's bankruptcy counsel, is handling the deal on Lehman's end. Ropes & Gray is representing Bain, a longtime Ropes client. The team includes: M&A partners Alfred O. Rose, R. Newcomb Stillwell, and William M. Shields; bankruptcy partners Mark I. Bane, and Steven T. Hoort; tax partner Christopher M. Leich;  executive compensation and benefits partners Jonathan M. Zorn and Peter L. Ebb; IM/regulatory partners Gregory D. Sheehan, Dwight W. Quayle, and Gregory C. Davis; and IP partner Edward G. Black.

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; the lead lawyers are partners Chris Austin and Dan Sternberg, both based in New York. 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 last week before deciding to team up.

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