Equity Residential increased its bid for the final 26.5 percent stake in Archstrone to $1.5 billion, triggering a guaranteed breakup fee if Lehman Brothers matches the bid, Bloomberg News reported.
Bank of America and Barclays have looked to unload their combined 53 percent stake in the Archstone portfolio, and that has resulted in a contentious battle for the stake between Lehman and Sam Zell’s Equity. Lehman already possessed a 47 percent stake in the portfolio and recently purchased an additional 26.5 percent stake for more than $1.3 billion.
By upping its bid, Equity triggered a breakup fee that would pay out $80 million if Lehman excercises its right to match Zell’s price for the stake. Lehman has the right of first refusal for the BofA and Barclays’ stake in the apartment portfolio, and the judge presiding over Lehman’s bankruptcy had previously said he expects Lehman to eventually acquire the entire asset. Bloomberg said Lehman intends to flip it for $6 billion to help pay off creditors. [Bloomberg]