Barclays to Sell Former Lehman Bond Benchmarks to Bloombergby
Bank makes $721 million gain selling analytics, index business
Sale comes as new CEO Jes Staley speeds up non-core disposals
Barclays Plc agreed to sell the indexing business built around former Lehman Brothers benchmarks to Bloomberg LP for about 520 million pounds ($781 million), as Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley speeds up disposals of unwanted assets.
Barclays said it will post a 480 million-pound gain from selling the risk analytics and index solutions business, boosting its regulatory capital level by 0.1 percentage point, according to a statement Wednesday from the London-based bank. The deal needs antitrust approval and should be completed “mid-2016,” Barclays said. Bloomberg LP is the parent company of Bloomberg News.
The bank’s indexes, such as the Global Aggregate, are widely used as corporate bond benchmarks by portfolio managers. Much of the business was acquired in 2008, when Barclays absorbed Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s North American unit. Staley, a 58-year-old veteran of JPMorgan Chase & Co., was hired by Chairman John McFarlane in October to accelerate the bank’s restructuring and refocus on its most profitable British and U.S. businesses.
“This transaction is further evidence of the good work we are doing in managing down our non-core assets so that shareholders can feel the full benefit of ownership of Barclays’s well-performing core businesses,” Staley said in the statement.
The division being sold, known as BRAIS, also builds bespoke indexes and structured products for clients, allowing them to gain exposure to specific markets, according to Will Bowen, a spokesman for the London-based lender.
The indexes Barclays acquired from Lehman were the first to be published, beginning in 1973, the firm said at the time of the transaction. Barclays combined the Lehman benchmarks with its own and renamed the amalgamated measures the “Barclays Capital Indices” in November 2008.
While the purchase prices equates to $781 million at today’s exchange rate, Barclays gave it a $790 million value in the statement, using a rate of $1.52 per pound.