Lehman collection under the hammer
Collapsed financial services giant looks to pay off some debts
By Katharine Albritton. Web only
Published online: 20 July 2010
NEW YORK. Sotheby’s New York will sell the Neuberger Berman and Lehman Brothers corporate art collections on 25 September, now that a bankruptcy court has approved the sale. Proceeds will go towards paying off Lehman’s creditors.
Lehman has sold some of its art since declaring bankruptcy—notably at Freeman’s Auctioneers in Philadelphia last autumn—but retained the bulk of the collection. When it was spun-out from Lehman as its own firm, Neuberger Berman had the option to purchase works of art from Lehman Brothers. Over the past year and a half, Neuberger Berman has been evaluating the collection and deciding which pieces to keep, a decision they finalised at the beginning of May this year. Lehman Brothers Holdings still maintains a 49% interest in Neuberger Berman.
“Holding on to assets to maximise them is part of our strategy for paying off creditors,” said Kimberly Macleod, spokeswoman for Lehman Brothers. “We’re pleased that we’re selling to a better market than we would have at the time of the bankruptcy.”
Over 400 works will be up for auction, many by well-known artists including Damien Hirst, Gerhard Richter, Richard Prince, and Takashi Murakami. The collection is estimated at more than $10m.
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