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Family head sees value in Lehman’s private equity business

Johann Rupert (pictured), chairman of family-owned luxury company Richemont, has agreed to provide significant funding to help spin out Lehman Brothers' private equity arm into an independent firm.

The new company will be known as Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking and will have $4.5 billion under management according to the Wall Street Journal.

Rupert's Luxembourg-listed investment vehicle Reinet Investments, which was only established in October last year, has agreed to provide $250 million in unfunded commitments. Reinet's principal asset is Richemont's interest in British American Tobacco.

Richemont traces its roots back to the 1940s when Johann's father Anton Rupert established Rembrandt Group Limited of South Africa. Today Richemont owns several of the world's leading luxury companies including jewellers Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Neither Lehman Brothers, who filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy last September, nor Rupert have made a statement.

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