Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEHMQ) said creditors holding more than $160 billion in claims support the company’s latest payout plan, up from $140 billion in September. Lehman, which filed the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history in September 2008, has been gathering support for a $65 billion liquidation plan to pay what Chief Executive Officer Bryan Marsal estimates are about $320 billion in claims. The voting deadline for creditors is Nov. 4. Lehman reached settlements with European affiliates and some of its largest creditors, the defunct firm said in a statement today.
“The rapidly growing level of support for our plan demonstrates that our creditors understand the logic of the economic compromise we have proposed,” Marsal said in the statement. “We met with our creditors frequently, listened and responded to their concerns, and structured the plan accordingly. Deutsche Bundesbank was allowed a non-priority, senior unsecured claim of $3.5 billion on Lehman, according to a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Germany’s central bank had filed a $12.2 billion claim based on a debt guarantee for Lehman’s German affiliate, Lehman Brothers Bankhaus AG, according to claims records. Bundesverband Deutscher Banken was granted a $5.3 billion claim on Lehman, the defunct firm said. Lehman Brothers International (Europe) will have a $1 billion claim on its parent company, along with a $900 million claim against Lehman’s special financing unit, according to the filing.
Other Lehman affiliates have claims against the European company, New York-based Lehman said. Lehman and its Japanese affiliate have smaller claims on each other. In July, when it was approaching three years in bankruptcy, Lehman settled a dispute with creditors by agreeing to allot more money to a group including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and less to bondholders such as Paulson & Co. Both groups had proposed rival plans to pay Lehman’s debts.
At the time, Lehman said creditors holding $100 billion in claims backed its proposals, including Morgan Stanley and other banks that joined with Goldman Sachs. Lehman also ended a legal battle to extract $11 billion from Barclays Plc and settled a $500 million lawsuit with Bank of America Corp. Once the world’s fourth-biggest investment bank, Lehman fought the Paulson group and the Goldman Sachs group of derivatives creditors for months over control of its liquidation plan. Lehman twice amended its proposals to pay claims in response to creditor challenges.
Marsal has said he intends to raise a total of $65 billion from the firm’s assets in the next few years, including the cash already in hand. Lehman had about $23 billion of cash available on Sept. 30 after spending more than $1.4 billion in fees for managers and advisers, according to a filing. Lehman filed for bankruptcy listing assets of $639 billion. The case is In re Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., 08-13555, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).