Billionaire Takes Huge Stake in Bear Stearns

Josephe Lewis becomes largest shareholder with $860M buy
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2007 3:30 PM CDT
Billionaire Joseph C. Lewis has taken a 7 percent stake in Bear Stearns Cos Inc.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Billionaire Joseph C. Lewis has bought enough stock to become the largest single shareholder in embattled investment bank Bear Stearns, Reuters reports. The reclusive British-born currency trader bought up $860.4 million in shares over the last month, nabbing a 7% stake. Putnam Investing, the second largest shareholder, owns a 6% stake.

Bear Stearns, heavily involved in mortgage-related investments, has take a beating this year, its share price falling about 35% after the failure of two hedge funds. Stock perked up 0.6% in midday trading trading on the news of Lewis' position.