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Lehman Brothers Holding is reportedly selling Archstone.Bloomberg reports that the firm, in Chapter 11, has submitted a court filing to sell the apartment operator to two LB affiliates. What does it all mean? Our DC reporter turned to former Archstone research head Jack Kern to find out.
Former Archstone research head Jack Kern
Jack, here with 64-lb. lapdog Annie, seems to take the news in stride, considering those affiliates have also filed for bankruptcy: Lehman Commercial Paper in October '08 and Luxembourg Residential Properties Loan Finance in January '09. He points out that this is a likely first step toward Archstone becoming a publicly traded REIT again—the plan all along back when Lehman and Tishman Speyer first took it private in 2007. Jack, who now spends his time as a consultant for buy-side analysts at hedge funds and institutional investors, adds that an Archstone sale would better position Lehman to continue to pay off more of its creditors, while giving the apartment owner the capacity to acquire and build additional properties and improve the ones it already has. But Archstone's next steps are a little murkier in light of the death of its development guru,Al Neely, which we reported Tuesday.