Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest US investment house and adviser to several drinks companies, has collapsed into bankruptcy.

Lehman Brothers Holdings said today (15 September) that it has filed for bankruptcy in the US, following multi-billion dollar losses and failure to secure a buyer for its business.  

The fall of Lehman has threatened to rock financial markets, with some observers calling this weekend the worst period for Wall Street since the famous stock market crash of 1929.

Lehman has acted as either a broker or adviser to several drinks firms, including Diageo, SPI Group and Carlsberg.

The group sought to reassure customers that none of its broker-dealer subsidiaries were involved in the bankruptcy filing. It would continue to seek a sale for its Investment Management Division, while its Asset Management arm would conduct "business as usual", it added.

Customers, it said, "may continue to trade or take other actions with respect to their accounts".