August 19, 2008 / 2:41 AM / 11 years ago

Lehman marketing asset management business-source

NEW YORK, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc LEH.N has been marketing its asset management unit to a number of buyers including private equity firms, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Monday.

Analysts and bankers have recently said that Lehman may opt to part with its asset management business to further boost its capital. Experts estimate the business, whose core is Neuberger Berman, could be worth about $8 billion.

The Wall Street Journal, quoting people familiar with the matter, said Lehman has begun circulating a detailed book on financial information about its investment management unit to a group that includes private-equity firms Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman LLC and General Atlantic LLC.

Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) also has expressed interest in the business in recent weeks, the report said.

It was not immediately clear if all or part of the investment management business would go on sale. Some have said an outright sale of the entire investment management business could be tough, as it would be too big for most buyers to swallow.

The Journal report said the Lehman unit would include Neuberger Berman, as well as the firm’s private-client, hedge-fund and private-equity businesses, adding that analysts estimate the total value at around $8 billion to $10 billion.

The New York Times said Lehman’s letter to possible buyers said interested parties could bid for all or some of the pieces but encouraged them to make an offer for the whole business.

The Times said Lehman sent letters to Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts [KKR.UL], J. C. Flowers, and Apollo Management in addition to Blackstone and the Carlyle Group.

Wall Street banks have been battered by their exposure to mortgage-backed securities and other risky instruments, which have triggered write-downs and credit losses.

The fourth-largest U.S. investment bank has raised about $12 billion of capital this year to strengthen its balance sheet, sold off assets, and shaken up top management.

Lehman bought Neuberger Berman in 2003 for about $3.1 billion.

Earlier this month, reports said Lehman is in talks with prospective buyers including BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) to sell mortgage assets and other hard-to-value securities. (Reporting by Megan Davies and Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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