Lehman Brothers sells office portfolio stake to CalSTRS, Thomas Properties

Lehman Brothers Holdings sold its stake in eight Austin, Texas-area office buildings to the $152.1 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System and Thomas Properties Group as part of an $859 million deal.

West Sacramento-based CalSTRS and Thomas Properties had held 25% of the venture owning the properties and bought out the entire portfolio, the companies said Wednesday in a statement. Lehman sold its 50% stake, while an unidentified sovereign wealth fund had held 25%.

CalSTRS and Thomas formed a new venture, known as TPG/CalSTRS Austin, to own the Austin portfolio, with CalSTRS and Thomas each holding a 50% interest. As part of the deal, Thomas sold a one-third stake in the entity that owns its interest to Madison International Realty.

As part of the purchase price, CalSTRS and Thomas assumed five existing first-mortgage loans totaling $626 million.

Lehman is liquidating its real estate portfolio, seeking to recover as much as $12.9 billion from mortgages and assets around the globe. It has invested more than $5 billion in real estate since its 2008 collapse and subsequent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, as it waits for opportune times to sell properties. The company was part of a restructuring of the Austin portfolio in March 2009, according to a separate statement.