Billionaire Ross Allowed to Buy Lehman Shipping Stake

Billionaire Wilbur Ross won a judge’s approval to buy shares in a shipping company held by Lehman Brothers Inc., a spokesman for the defunct brokerage’s trustee said.

WL Ross & Co. offered about $110 million for the 34 percent stake in gas-tanker company Navigator Holdings Ltd. (NVIGF) Hedge fund Elliott Management Corp., a creditor of the brokerage, objected that Ross’s company, which already owns Navigator shares, would gain a controlling stake without paying a premium for control. Ross answered yesterday in a bankruptcy court filing that it bought most of its Navigator shares last year for the same $25 each that Lehman will receive.

James Giddens, the trustee liquidating the Lehman brokerage, “is pleased with the court’s approval of the sale,” Jake Sargent, a Giddens spokesman, said in an e-mail today. “The sale maximizes the value of LBI’s shares in Navigator for the benefit of customers and other creditors.”

The Lehman brokerage is liquidating separately from its parent, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which is now out of bankruptcy.

The Lehman brokerage liquidation is Securities Investor Protection Corp. v. Lehman Brothers Inc., 08-01420, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). The parent’s case is In re Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., 08-13555, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Linda Sandler in New York at lsandler@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net

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