Lehman brothers could pay out in full

A "reasonable" chance of full funds returning to creditors.

Photograph: Getty Images

Administrators PwC have revealed that the European arm of Lehman Brothers have told creditors there is a “reasonable” chance they may be repaid in full.

The repayment news comes after settlements with other Lehman affiliates in the United States, Switzerland and Luxembourg, ending lengthy legal actions.

PwC said the settlements have resulted in higher-than-expected future recoveries and a reduction in the reserve for claims, possibly ending years of confusion over the payout.

PwC said Lehman Brothers International Europe (LBIE) was the largest and most complex company in the group, which collapsed with debts of more than £391bn in 2008, sparking worldwide financial panic.

In a statement, partner and lead administrator Tony Lomas said, “To be able to advise ordinary unsecured creditors that we now have a reasonable chance of eventually repaying their claims in full marks a significant milestone for the administrators. This would not have been possible without a huge combined PwC and Lehman effort over the past four-and-a-half years.”

"There is still a lot to do before finalising the wind-down but we do expect to pay a second, significant dividend to creditors in the near future, taking us another step towards this new target," he adds.

In November, a first interim dividend of £7bn was paid to 1,582 unsecured creditors, and Lomas said PwC expects to pay a second “significant” dividend in the near future.

A progress report published last year showed PwC earned £322m in fees from the wind-down process at that stage, thought to be the largest ever earned from any single UK corporate failure.

This story first appeared in economia.