Barclays PLC, the United Kingdom's third-biggest banking company, may buy parts of Lehman Brothers' European investment bank after agreeing to acquire the bankrupt securities firm's North American business for $1.75 billion.
Barclays plans to purchase Lehman's investment banking, fixed-income and equities sales, trading, and research divisions in North America, which employ about 10,000 people, along with its headquarters in New York and two data centers.
Robert Diamond, Barclays president, said Wednesday that it is also in talks to take over parts of Lehman's equities business in Europe and may hire some of its employees in Asia.
Lehman, which survived railroad bankruptcies of the 1800s, the Great Depression, and the Long-Term Capital Management collapse, filed for bankruptcy protection Sept. 15 after record losses in the mortgage market. Mr. Diamond, who abandoned talks to buy all of Lehman less than 24 hours before its collapse, said less than 5% of the assets Barclays is buying are mortgage-related.
Julian Chillingworth, chief investment officer at Rathbone Brothers PLC, which owns Barclays shares, said Mr. Diamond "has struck an interesting deal, but to make this work, he will have to be flexible with Barclays's balance sheet."
A person familiar with the situation said Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan's biggest securities firm, is also interested in parts of the European unit. Officials at Nomura would not discuss the matter.