Britain's Barclays bank has agreed to buy some of the core assets of stricken US investment bank Lehman Brothers for 1 billion pounds ($1.75 billion), the two banks said.
The deal with Barclays could save jobs in the US
Barclays had bought Lehman's North American investment banking and trading unit for $250 million, and paid $1.5 billion for its New York headquarters and two data centers following negotiations in New York, the bank said on Wednesday, Sept. 17.
The deal, which follows Barclays' withdrawal last weekend from negotiations on a rescue package for Lehman Brothers, still requires backing from a bankruptcy court.
John Varley, chief executive of Barclays, said the proposed acquisition was part of a policy of "profitable growth on behalf of our shareholders."
Barclays is regarding its move as the "opportunity of a lifetime," one analyst in London said.
"We have the opportunity to continue the growth and development of our US investment banking and capital market franchises with one of the leading financial institutions in the world," Lehman Brothers' chief operating officer Herbert McDade said.
It is understood that Barclays has steered clear of becoming involved with so-called "toxic investments" made by Lehman Brothers in volatile residential and commercial property markets.
The deal could safeguard the jobs of about 10,000 employees in the US, reports said.
But there has been criticism in London that none of the 5,000 Lehman Brothers' employees in Britain will benefit from the Barclays move.