The European arm of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (PINK:LEHMQ) may make a payment to its unsecured creditors by November. The payout to creditors will be the investment banks first since collapse four years ago.
The exact size of the payment is yet to be announced by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has been handling the UK part of the Lehman administration. For unsecured creditors, which rank at the bottom of the creditor hierarchy, PWC has agreed 3.9 billion pounds ($6.3 billion) worth of claims up till now. However, PwC estimates that total unsecured claims could end up being as high as 54.6 billion pounds, as it has received much more claims. Payouts have been delayed up till now as PWC has to verify each claim before the claim is processed further.
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“There have been huge obstacles preventing us from making a first distribution from the general estate to unsecured creditors,” said Tony Lomas, the lead administrator of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (PINK:LEHMQ) Europe at PwC.
PwC revealed that up till now only those clients have been paid some money, whose funds were kept in separate accounts, which made it easier to process. They have so far received 13.5 billion pounds worth of securities and cash. The administrator added that it plans to pay the creditors from yet another pool of client money next year and that it will be recovering another $8 billion of segregated securities and cash from another part of Lehman’s estate, to be returned to clients of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (PINK:LEHMQ) Europe. For its administration work, PWC has been paid around 563 million pounds, so far.
Just a few days back, Trans-Atlantic stand-off between two main remnants of Lehman Brothers ended with a deal that could speed recoveries for customers and creditors. As per the deal, hedge-fund creditors of the defunct investment bank’s European arm will receive $12bn instead of the $24bn in claims they had originally sought from Lehman’s failed US brokerage for individual customers. In addition, the Wall Street firm’s US brokerage will forego its $13.8bn in claims against the European arm. The deal waits approval from the judge overseeing Lehman’s US bankruptcy case, and an order from the English High Court.