Lehman, Barclays in $1.1 billion accord on assets

By @ibtimes on

The trustee in charge of liquidating what's left of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc U.S. brokerage agreed to pay Barclays Plc $1.1 billion in disputed assets connected to its purchase of Lehman's North American business.

The so-called clearance box assets, money held to facilitate the clearance of securities trading, were one of three disputed pots of money being fought over Monday at a hearing in U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan.

Judge James Peck ruled in February that Barclays was entitled to the clearance box assets. However, the parties disputed whether Lehman would pay damages of $869 million -- the initial value of the assets -- or a higher figure representing the current value after appreciation.

While the sides agreed on a final figure of $1.1 billion, attorneys still found room for debate on what the figure represents.

An attorney for Lehman trustee James Giddens framed it as comprising the $869 million damages figure plus interest, while Barclays said it represented the appreciated value of the underlying assets. Judge Peck made no ruling on that question when he approved the deal at Monday's hearing.

The trustee and Barclays have been tangled in litigation since November 2009, when Lehman sought unsuccessfully to invalidate its hurried sale to Barclays in the days following its Chapter 11 filing in September 2008. Lehman said Barclays obtained an $11 billion windfall by leaving vital information out of the court record.

Peck in February upheld the sale, but fights over certain assets are ongoing. The sides are still arguing over about $4 billion of margin assets and another $769 million of customer reimbursements.

The $639 billion in assets listed by Lehman when it filed for bankruptcy was six times more than any other bankrupt U.S. company.

The company and two groups of creditors have proposed three competing plans to pay back creditors, with approval hearings before Judge Peck set for June 28. If the plans pass muster there, they would be sent to creditors for a vote.

The case is In re Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 08-13555.

(Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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