Angry Shareholders Want More for Bear Stearns

Bargain basement $2 price sets up potential battle, lawsuits
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Mar 19, 2008 7:19 AM CDT
Graphic shows daily trading and timeline of events for Bear Stearns since June 2007.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Bear Stearns shareholders are threatening to vote against its sale to JPMorgan, saying the $2 price per share for the nation’s fifth largest investment bank is unrealistic; speculators seem to agree, trading up Bear stock to $5.91 yesterday, a 23% bump. Expect some serious brinkmanship to force a higher offer or lure another bid, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Winning over the largest shareholders could be tough, Bloomberg adds, because the top 20 own an unusually high 65% of shares. Analysts say some movement is possible—though one notes that JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon "is a very tough guy. There may ultimately be a huge confrontation here." Another white-knight buyer who might ride to Bear’s rescue is less likely, as it wouldn’t have the Fed’s support.