Carlyle declines to bid for Neuberger

The global buyout firm had objected to the $2.15bn bid submitted by Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman and said the bankruptcy auction process was driving away alternative bidders.

The Carlyle Group has decided not to bid for Lehman’s Brothers investment management division, Neuberger Berman, which is scheduled for a bankruptcy auction today.

A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed that Carlyle did not submit a bid but would not say why.

In September, private equity firms Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman made the leading bid of $2.15 billion for Neuberger Berman, as well as some of Lehman’s asset management and private funds units, including fixed income, private equity fund of funds and secondaries.

The deal would also involve some of Lehman’s co-investments and several start-up private equity businesses, including its debut infrastructure fund, which is targeting $1 billion.

Carlyle objected to the auction process in bankruptcy court and said the firms’ bid was too low. Carlyle said at the time it was working with the former chief executive officer of Neuberger, Jeffrey Lane, on an offer.

The deadline for competing bids, originally set for noon on Monday, has been pushed back several times, but it is not clear if the deadlines were extended to accommodate new bids.