Lehman creditors pan disclosure proposal

Reuters

By Nick Brown

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Creditors of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc <LEHLQ.PK>, including units of Bank of America Corp <BAC.N> and Barclays PLC <BARC.L>, are blasting attempts by Lehman bondholders to force them to reveal details about their claims against the failed bank.

Continue Reading Below

At least 15 parties, including the official creditors' committee, filed objections Wednesday and Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, saying the bondholders' proposal would far exceed bankruptcy rule requirements.

The bondholders, an ad hoc group led by hedge fund Paulson & Co, proposed forcing any party seeking to influence the outcome of Lehman's bankruptcy to reveal the nature of its claims, including the price paid to acquire those claims.

Such a proposal would burden "virtually any party involved" in the bankruptcy with "unprecedented disclosure obligations," Barclays Capital Inc said in its objection.

Bank of America dismissed the proposal as a "litigation tactic" in its court filing, saying the move is designed to discourage creditors from seeking a say in Lehman's repayment process.

Lehman, which filed the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history in 2008, will divvy up about $60 billion among several classes of creditors. Lehman and two creditor groups, including the bondholders, have filed competing plans putting forth vastly different proposals for who gets what.

Disclosure has become a contentious issue in the case since the judge in the case, James Peck, ordered the bondholders to reveal details about their roughly $20 billion in claims asserted against Lehman. A lawyer for the bondholders said in April that all parties should meet uniform disclosure standards to avoid the appearance of discriminatory enforcement against groups that oppose Lehman's repayment plan.

An analysis by the Wall Street Journal found that Paulson's fund, which bought its Lehman debt at a steep discount, could make profits of $350 million to $726 million from the bankruptcy.

A spokesman for the bondholders declined to comment Thursday.

Other parties to file objections Wednesday and Thursday include DZ Bank AG Deutsche Zentralgenossenschaftsbank <DGBGg.F>, Royal Bank of Canada <RY.TO> and Carval Investors UK Ltd.

A lawyer for Barclays declined to comment. Attorneys for Bank of America and the creditors' committee could not be immediately reached.

The matter is set for hearing before Judge Peck on June 15.

The case is In re Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 08-13555.

(Editing by Steve Orlofsky)