By  on January 12, 2009

LONDON — Reinet Investments SCA, the new company spun off from Compagnie Financière Richemont last year, said Monday it is in talks to buy the former Lehman Brothers’ private equity business.

Reinet, which is traded on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, said it’s negotiating with Lehman’s bankruptcy estate with a view to participate in the partial buyout of Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking.

The statement said any future transaction is not expected to impact materially the net asset value or operating results of Reinet.

In the fall, Richemont was split in two: the eponymous luxury company that owns brands including Cartier, Dunhill and Chloé, and the holding company Reinet, whose principal asset is a minority stake in British American Tobacco.

Johann Rupert, executive chairman of Richemont, holds a similar title at Reinet.

Richemont decided to restructure its business last year after a change in Luxembourg tax legislation: Without the restructuring, the company would have to pay a 15 percent tax on dividends from its BAT stake to shareholders after 2010.

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