It's official.

As earlier reported by ASR, Barclays has agreed to acquire Lehman Brothers North American investment banking and capital markets operations and supporting infrastructure.

According to a release from Barclays, it will be buying trading assets with a current estimated value of $72 billion and trading liabilities with a current estimated value of $68 billion.  Barclays will also be purchasing the New York headquarters of Lehman Brothers and its two data centers at close to their current market value. The  head office is located at 745 Seventh Avenue and the two data centers are in New Jersey. The estimated value is $1.5 billion with combined consideration totals of $1.75 billion.

The release went on further to explain that the Lehman Brothers operations that will be purchased in the deal have around 10,000 employees. The Lehman Brothers operations include Lehman Brothers North American fixed-income and equities sales, trading and research and investment banking businesses. Lehman Brothers will get $0.25 billion in cash consideration for the the Lehman Brothers businesses.

The agreement for the acquisition may be terminated if its not completed by Sept 24.

"The proposed acquisition of Lehman Brothers North American investment banking and capital market operations accelerates the execution of our strategy of diversification by geography and business in pursuit of profitable growth on behalf of our shareholders, in particular increasing the percentage of Barclays earnings sourced in North America," Barclays Group Chief Executive John Varley said of the acqusition. "This transaction delivers the stratgic benefits of ac ombination with Lehman Brothers core franchise, while meeting Barclays strict financial criteria, and strengthening our capital ratios."

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Barclays," said Barclays President Robert E. Diamond, Jr. "We will now have the best team and most productive culture across the world's major financial markets, backed by resources of integrated universal bank. We welcome the opportunity to add Lehman's people and capabilities to the Barclays team."

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