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LONDON-Lehman Brothers has made a late entry into the fray at Haslemere, taking a 23.5% stake in the consortium that has agreed to buy the UK property company.

Lehman Bros joins Brack Capital, Apollo International Real Estate Fund., Merrill Lynch and Five Mounts Investments in the consortium that successfully bid €63.75 per share for Haslemere.

The investment will be made through Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners, a $1.7 billion private equity fund formed in 2001 by Lehman Brothers to target real estate opportunities in North America and Western Europe. Its other recent European investments include the £920 million ($1.33 billion) privatisation of Burford Holdings, and the purchase of Swisscom’s property portfolio.

Haslemere has a balanced portfolio of over 130 properties across the UK commercial property market, valued at the end of 2001 at £1.484 billion ($2.1 billion). This breaks down by value to 46% retail, 36% offices and 18% industrial/warehouse.

Lehman Brothers’ participation is still subject to EU clearance.

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