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.