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End to Lehman’s bankruptcy in sight

With support of creditors, record bankruptcy will see close

Lehman Bros. announced yesterday that its reorganization plan has the support of its creditors, who hold $160 billion in claims, and the global financial services firm may soon see an end to its bankruptcy nightmare.

Lehman said in court documents that it has confirmed nine new settlement agreements and is confident it’s on its way to bringing its bankruptcy to a close.

"We believe, right now, that we have enough support to confirm a plan," said Lori Fife, a partner at Weil Gotshal & Manges and Lehman's lead bankruptcy lawyer, in an interview. "We hope it will get confirmed by the end of the year, and we hope to make distributions early next year."

The settlements mentioned in Lehman’s filing include six with affiliates such as Lehman Brothers International in Europe and more than 50 British affiliates, as well as three with outside creditors such as Germany's central bank, Deutsche Bundesbank.

Creditors have until Nov. 4 to vote on the reorganization plan, would return about $65 billion of the estimated $320 billion of their allowed claims. A hearing in front of a bankruptcy judge is set to begin Dec. 6.

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Cathleen Flahardy

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