Fire Sale

A buyer for Lehman Brothers

In its no-pictures, print-only television commercials, Shearson/American Express calls itself the stockbroker for the "serious investor." Last week the firm did some serious investing of its own. Only ten days after he had read in FORTUNE that Wall Street's Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb might be for sale, Shearson Chairman Peter A. Cohen, 37, signed an agreement to buy the old-line investment banker for $360 million. The combined companies will be known as Shearson Lehman/American Express.

The deal adds some important new aisles to the financial supermarket that American Express is assembling and brings an abrupt end to...

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