JPMorgan in Talks to Boost Bear Stearns Bid

Attempt to mollify furious Bear stockholders
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Mar 24, 2008 4:00 AM CDT
A newspaper distributor hands out a copy of newspaper featuring the sale of U.S. investment bank Bear Stearns to JP Morgan Chase as commuters ascend from Bank underground station in the City of London,...   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
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(Newser) – JPMorgan Chase was in negotiations last night to quintuple its bid for Bear Stearns following a storm of angry protests by Bear shareholders over the initial bargain-basement deal for the investment banking giant, reports the New York Times. Under the new deal, JPMorgan Chase would pay $1 billion—$10 a share, up from the initial offer of $2 a share, which represented just one-fifteenth of Bear’s market price.

Stockholders vowed to fight the original deal, arranged last week with unprecedented participation of the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department as Bear Stearns teetered on the brink of collapse. But the Fed, which must approve a change, was balking at the offer after days of frantic secret talks, the Time says, and could still scuttle the sweetened offer, setting off a stockholder battle.