U.S. Markets close in 3 hrs 4 mins

Lehman considering selling off some of its claims

NEW YORK (AP) -- Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. said Friday that it may attempt to sell off some of the unsecured claims it has against its brokerage arm.

The news comes less than a month after a bankruptcy court judge approved a set of settlements designed to clear the way for the remnants of Lehman to repay billions in customer claims in full.

In its Friday statement, Lehman said that it hired Lazard to help it look into "monetization opportunities" related to the unsecured claims.

Lehman's bankruptcy in September of 2008 was the largest ever in U.S. history and the company's demise marked the beginning of the global financial crisis.

Lehman's individual retail customers were repaid in the first few days of the brokerage's liquidation. But it took several years of talks before Lehman Brothers Inc., its holding company Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., and its European arm, Lehman Brothers International, could agree on how claims for larger customers of each unit, such as hedge funds or institutional investors, would be paid.

The three parts reached a deal last year and submitted it to the court in February. It was approved in April, settling the disputes among the entities.

The deal provides Lehman Brothers Holdings $2.3 billion for customer claims and $14 billion for general unsecured claims. The European unit will receive $9 billion for customer claims and $4 billion for unsecured claims.