Equity Residential, a commercial real estate company owned by Sam Zell, recently increased its bid for a stake in Archstone to approximately $1.5 billion, according to Bloomberg.
The stake is currently held by Barclays and Bank of America, and is 26.5 percent of the company. Equity Residential has until April 19 to strike a deal, the news source reported. Lehman Brothers initially tried to block any purchase by the company, as it had put in a $1.3 billion bid. The two banks own a combined 53 percent stake in Archstone.
If Lehman is successful in matching the new bid, Equity will receive an $80 million fee to break away from the deal, according to the news source. The judge involved with the case, James Peck, noted that he believed Zell's company would enter a bid of approximately $1.4 billion for half of the stake owned by the banks.
Lehman purchased Archstone as part of a buyout with Tishman Speyer for $22 billion, the news source added. Due to years in bankruptcy court, Lehman is trying to complete a liquidation plan worth $65 billion.