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Lehman liquidators sell property

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AAP

November 27 2012, 10:44AM

WASHINGTON, Nov 26 AFP - The liquidator of Lehman Brothers, the investment bank that collapsed spectacularly in the financial crisis, says it has sold off a property unit for $US6.5 billion ($A6.24 billion).

In its largest single asset sale so far, the liquidator Lehman Brothers Holding Inc sold Archstone Enterprise, which owns a number of apartment buildings, to Equity Residential and AvalonBay Communities Inc.

The price included $US2.7 billion in cash, and shares in both of the buyers, leaving LBHI still with more assets to liquidate as it continues in the multi-year plan to dispose of some $US65 billion in assets to repay creditors.

Lehman collapsed in 2008 to gain ignominy as the country's largest-ever bankruptcy, owing creditors around $US450 billion.

Earlier this year LBHI bought the half of Archstone that it did not own for $US3.0 billion, with the aim of recouping a better price for the asset when it was eventually sold.

"The transaction delivers significant return on the investment we made earlier this year to fully control Archstone and has generated immediate and considerable proceeds for our next distribution to creditors," said Owen Thomas, chairman of LBHI's board of directors.

He added that the shareholdings in Avalon and Equity Residential will "provide us with the potential for further appreciation and substantial liquidity for our remaining investment".