The good thing about this is that the spinoff does prevent a fire sale. It think this will be interesting legal work for the corporate folks, with the dirt lawyers doing -- literally -- the dirty work.
Through the creation of REI Global, Lehman Brothers achieves an enterprise solution that removes the vast majority of commercial real estate exposure from the Firm’s balance sheet and realizes a true sale of its commercial real estate assets while maximizing their value. Further, it enables shareholders to benefit from the anticipated financial upside of the portfolio of assets.
But the other reality is that these assets are hard to sell in this market. And perhaps more important to the struggling company, it gets all these assets (and losses) off the books. So call it "a shrewd move," if you will.
As you can read elsewhere, there are other non-dirt deals going on to help save the company. Will it be enough? Beats me. I was always impressed by the ability of the Lehman real estate guys on deals where I had some involvement and they had been good partners for some clients in the past. Assuming the spinoff closes, an orderly sale (no new acquisitions are planned) will bring a slower flow of deals for us, but will also stop some crazy, wacky fire drill of a portfolio transaction that would keep lawyers up all night for weeks on end.