As the dismantling of Lehman Brotherscontinued with yesterday’s announcement that the Barry Bonds of Bankruptcy had agreed to sell its asset management unit to a pair of private equity firms, familiar faces emerged on both sides. In the latest development, Lehman bankruptcy counsel Weil, Gotshal & Manges reprised the same role it held during the fallen financial titan’s piecemeal deals with Barclays PLC and Nomura Holdings, while Bain Capital tapped longtime legal counsel Ropes & Gray; co-bidder Hellman & Friedman, meanwhile, turned to Cleary Gottlieb, which was recently spotted representing Citigroup’s underwriters in the $10 billion stock offering related to Citi’s purchase of Wachovia’s banking arm.
Confirming week-old rumors, New York partner Chris Austin—along with colleague Dan Sternberg—led the Cleary effort; Austin had helped guide Hellman through several past deals, including its 2006 investment in fund manager Artisan Group. For its part, Ropes & Gray’s foundation with client Bain is equally solid, with the firm counseling the company as it participated in the $11 billion purchase of SunGard Data Systems in 2005. As in Lehman’s kickoff deal with Barclays, Monday’s agreement is subject to the approval of a federal bankruptcy judge—though it’s hard to envision a repeat of the courthouse mob scene of September 19th.
- posted by ben fuchs
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