Bank of America, Barclays to sell 26.5 % stake in Archstone to Lehman for $1.58 bn

Bank of America and Barclays Bank yesterday agreed to sell its 26.5-per cent stake in the apartment building owner Archstone Enterprise LP to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s bankruptcy estate for $1.58 billion.

The purchase will give Lehman's estate full ownership of Archstone, an Englewood, Colorado-based company that owns all or part of 434 apartment blocks in the US and Europe.

Nearly the entire Archstone portfolio is located in large coastal cities, including Washington, D.C, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and Boston.

''This transaction protects Lehman's substantial investment, provides stability and gives us control of Archstone's future,'' Lehman chairman Owen Thomas said in a statement.

In 2007, Archstone was taken private in a $ 22.2-billion acquisition by the private real estate builder-operator firm Tishman Speyer  in alliance with several major investment banks.

Until the end of last year, Lehman owned 47 per cent of Archstone, but in January it acquired a 26.5-per cent stake after the banks were attempted to sell half of their stake to US real estate tycoon Sam Zell-led Equity Residential in a $1.325 billion deal.