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Lehman Wants Ad Hoc Group To Disclose More About Itself

By Joseph Checkler Of DOW JONES DAILY BANKRUPTCY REVIEW NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEHMQ) says an ad hoc group of creditors proposing a competing bankruptcy plan in its Chapter 11 case is acting as a "de facto committee" and thus must make more disclosures about its interests in the case if it wants to be involved. In a Wednesday filing with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, Lehman says the ad hoc group of 13 bondholders should be forced to comply with a bankruptcy rule that requires certain groups to disclose not only the total amount of their claims, but also the dates they obtained the securities and how much they paid for them. The bondholders' group consists of hedge fund managers including Paulson & Co. and pension funds including California Public Employees' Retirement System The investors call themselves the ad hoc group of Lehman Brothers Creditors, and in a March filing they disclosed they have 13 members holding $20.2 billion across several Lehman entities, including $16.1 billion in senior secured notes. Besides Paulson and Calpers, the group includes hedge-fund manager Perry Capital and bond giant Pimco. Such disclosures aren't enough to comply with bankruptcy Rule 2019, Lehman says in its court papers, because in Lehman's view the group "functions as an entity or de facto committee," which if true would step up the group's reporting requirements. "The Ad Hoc Group has not publicly provided even minimal information required under Rule 2019, and absent compliance, should be barred from participation in these Chapter 11 cases," Lehman said. A spokesman for Paulson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. On Tuesday, the group asked Judge James Peck of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan to consider its rival plan for the distribution of Lehman's assets on the same timetable as Lehman's, meaning a June 28 hearing to send the plan to creditors for a vote and a Nov. 17 court date for Peck to confirm the plan. A hearing on the disclosure requirements and whether the two plans can be considered simultaneously has been set for April 13 in front of Peck. Lehman's amended bankruptcy proposal, filed in late January, gives creditors a better recovery than the original plan filed last spring. Creditors holding senior unsecured claims against Lehman would recover 21.4% under the new plan, up from 17.4%. Those creditors must vote for the plan to get the full recovery. If they vote against the plan, they would get less. Creditors of several Lehman subsidiaries may see even-better improvements. The ad hoc group filed a plan late last year that calls for senior bondholders like its members to get more than 24 cents on the dollar. Some other creditors would see a drop in their recoveries. The ad hoc group has said that its main problem with Lehman's proposal is that it establishes a "pot of assets" to pay back creditors, which is "seriously flawed," particularly in the way it handles intercompany claims between various Lehman businesses. That plan, the group said, could allow for double recovery, or a "double dip," for some creditors. Certain Lehman creditors, many of them big banks, have claims on derivatives contracts against both their counterparty on the contract and the Lehman parent company as a whole. Lehman said in January it would incorporate some of the ad hoc group's ideas into its plan, but in its new plan said it doesn't support the competing proposal. Lehman's collapse in September 2008 marked the largest bankruptcy case ever filed. Since then, a team of hundreds of bankruptcy professionals under the direction of restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal has managed Lehman's assets--which include real-estate holdings, corporate debt and derivatives--for the benefit of creditors. Lehman estimated earlier this year that it will likely have $322 billion in allowed claims against the estate, with $272 billion from the parent company and about $50 billion from its various subsidiaries. The bank increased creditors' expected net recovery by $2.6 billion from the $57.5 billion it estimated in a September court presentation. (Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review covers news about distressed companies and those under bankruptcy protection.) -By Joseph Checkler; Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2152; joseph.checkler@dowjones.com

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