Lehman management buyout unlikely: Bernstein analyst

Pedestrians walk past a Lehman Brothers sign in New York, June 19, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A management buyout of Lehman Brothers LEH.N would be too costly to be feasible, Sanford Bernstein analyst Brad Hintz wrote on Wednesday in a research note.

Suggestions that Lehman’s management team might take the struggling bank private have been circulating in the last few days and Tuesday, drove its stock price up 6.6 percent to $13.22.

In the note, Hintz dismissed the idea on the basis that the costs would be too high.

Hintz, a former chief financial officer at Lehman, said that assuming the buyout is at a 30 percent premium to the current price, the bank’s leverage ratio would rise sharply, reigniting concerns over the bank’s credit-worthiness.

“We are skeptical that this is the path that Lehman Brothers would choose to pursue,” Hintz said.

Sanford Bernstein’s estimate for Lehman this year is a loss of $2.24 per share.

Reporting by Elinor Comlay, editing by Maureen Bavdek