Lehman considers sale of $40bn property portfolio

The Wall Street investment bank is reportedly in discussions with firms such as Blackstone and Blackrock to sell off its real estate assets, taking a $5bn hit.

Lehman Brothers is in talks with several firms to sell of its $40 billion (€27 billion) of commercial real estate assets, the Financial Times reported Monday.

Citing people close to the proposed sale, the paper said firms such as Blackstone and BlackRock are believed to be involved in negotiations. The bank is considering either a whole portfolio sale or selling the assets piecemeal.

Lehman Brothers has been plagued by loses incurred from the real estate holdings. The bank’s stock has fallen 69 percent over the past year, and it is believed that the bank may be willing to take a $5 billion hit from the sale. Lehman Brothers declined to comment on the report.

The report also said that there is currently a gap between what Lehman thinks the assets are worth and what the potential buyers think.

Following the collapse of Bear Stearns in March, analysts have been speculating over whether Lehman Brothers could be the next to go. Large investment banks with battered balance sheets are being watched closely by potential buyers for these types of sales.