Following in the footsteps of previous insider firesales (Neuberger, R3, merchant-banking) within the bankrupt estate, Lehman's former Venture Capital arm is the most recent asset to be sold to yet another Lehman insider, this time Thomas Banahan, ex-head of global venture capital with the bankrupt bank. Banahan will be joined in his purchase by Boston PE firm HarbourVest as well as two pension funds, Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System and the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer, who apparently have not learned from the State of New York's painful lessons. And in continuing with the tradition of no transparency, the purchase price for this group, and how much money Lehman creditors will pocket as a consequence, has not been disclosed.
The new unit will lose the bankrupt moniker and be renamed to Tenaya Capital, and will operate with $750 million in AUM. It has stakes in 47 technology companies from web site Zappos.com, to online clothing store MyShape, to billing system Zuora Inc.
Interestingly, and separately, in yet another example of throwing good creditor money after horrendous investment mistakes, Lehman has hired Zais Group (they sure need a lot of paid professional advisors) to advise it on the management of $1 billion in CDO. Presumably, if you pay someone to try to sell something worth zero for zero, this is perceived as a more prudent thing then instead just liquidating it for its true zero worth, and saving some fees in the process.
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