JPMorgan Boosts Bear Stearns Offer to $10/Share

Bank hopes to stem criticism by quintupling bid
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2008 9:38 AM CDT
Graphic shows Bear Stearns Cos. daily trading from March 10 to March 18.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – JPMorgan will quintuple its takeover offer for Bear Stearns, setting a new $10-per-share price today after a weekend of tense renegotiations. Bear shareholders had objected to the proposed $2 deal, saying the bank-saving bid was a heist. JPMorgan is also buying 95 million more shares of the bank, which will give it 39.5% ownership and improved odds of getting the deal accepted, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The role of the Fed, which guaranteed the week-old deal, has also changed; now JPMorgan will bear the first $1 billion of potential losses in financing for Bear's most problematic assets, and the Fed will be responsible for the other $29 million. Shares of Bear have consistently traded well above $2 as investors anticipated the sweetened deal. JPMorgan stock has likewise skyrocketed since the news broke.