August 21, 2008 / 1:20 AM / 10 years ago

Lehman failed to sell stake to China's CITIC - FT

SINGAPORE, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Lehman Brothers LEH.N has held talks to sell up to half its shares to China’s CITIC Securities as well as state-owned Korea Development Bank, but both investors walked away saying the price was too high, the FT reported on Thursday.

Lehman Chief Executive Dick Fuld, looking to sell at least part of the struggling U.S. investment bank’s asset management unit, including Neuberger Berman, held secret talks in New York in early August, the Financial Times said, quoting people familiar with the situation.

The price under discussion was 50 percent above Lehman’s book value, the FT said.

A Lehman Brothers spokeswoman declined to comment on the report. CITIC and Korea Development Bank could not be reached for immediate comment.

Earlier this week, the New York Post said Fuld nearly struck a deal to raise almost $5 billion from South Korean wealth funds and institutions, but the pact disintegrated. [ID:nSP109049] Lehman Brothers, which has more than $60 billion of mortgage and mortgage security exposure, is under pressure to raise capital ahead of the company’s earnings in September. Analysts have said the Wall Street bank could write down $4 billion.

Shares in Lehman, which have plunged more than 80 percent since early 2007, closed at $13.73 on Wednesday, valuing the bank at around $9 billion. (Reporting by Louise Heavens and Jonathan Spicer in New York; Editing Ian Geoghegan)

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