BERLIN—The worthless but historic first share issued by collapsed investment bank Lehman Brothers has sold at an auction in Germany for euro24,000 ($33,000).
Auctioneer Michael Schmitt said Monday that the share, issued by the bank when it went public in 1994, used to hang in the office of Lehman Brothers' then chief executive Richard Fuld, for whom it was issued.
The buyer, who wanted to remain anonymous, purchased the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. share for its historic value, Schmitt said. "This is the ultimate document of the financial crisis," he added.
The bidding for the green and white document, series No. LB 0001 and measuring about 12 inches by nine, started at euro5,000 at Historisches Wertpapierhaus' premises in southern German Wuerzburg on Saturday, he said.
Lehman collapsed in 2008 in what is widely seen as a key trigger of the financial crisis.
The share was auctioned off this spring alongside a trove of other objects such as furniture or art exhibits from the defunct bank's offices, and a European dealer found the share in the lot and recognized its value, Schmitt said.
The dealer then offered it to Schmitt because he specializes in ancient stock market documents.
"German collectors make up 50 to 60 percent of the world market for historic shares," Schmitt said.