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Lehman Brothers emerges from bankruptcy

© Lucas Jackson / Reuters / REUTERS

Pedestrians walk past a Lehman Brothers sign in New York in 2008.

Three and a half years since it first sank into bankruptcy, Lehman Brothers emerged from its record $639 billion restructuring Tuesday and said it will start paying back its creditors on April 17.

Lehman’s bankruptcy filing on Sept. 15, 2008, was the biggest in U.S. history and made it the icon of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.

The move puts an end to the bankruptcy proceedings that began in September 2008 and allows Lehman to start distributing $65 billion or so to creditors who had asserted more than $300 billion in claims.

“Our objective remains to provide the best results possible for creditors -- by continuing to strategically position assets to produce strong values, to pursue the resolution of disputed claims and other matters in litigation, and to manage expenses in line with the asset disposition process,” John Suckow, a managing director with restructuring advisers at Alvarez & Marsal and Lehman’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

“We thank the hundreds of Lehman employees and outside professionals who have worked hard and diligently since September 2008 to achieve this monumental result,” he added.

Bankruptcy Judge James Peck approved a payback plan for Lehman’s creditors in December. Since then, the company has tied up loose ends: selling assets, litigating claims and settling disputes with affiliates and counterparties.

Reuters contributed to this report.