JPMorgan Quintuples Buyout Offer for Bear Stearns

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Monday it has upped its offer to buyout ailing Bear Stearns Co., offering $10 a share instead of its original offer of $2 for the investment bank that collapsed under the subprime mortgages crisis.

Although the figure represents a five-fold increase over JPMorgan's earlier this month, it is still less than one-third of the stock's value on March 14, the last day of trading before the proposed sale. Last year, Bear Stearns shares hit a high of $172.

The higher offer is aimed partly at appeasing angry Bear Stearns shareholders, who saw their investment virtually wiped out by the initial offer.

Under the revised terms of the deal, each share of Bear Stearns common stock will be exchanged for 0.21753 shares of JPMorgan common stock.

The original Bear takeover agreement was forged with the support of federal regulators. The U.S. Federal Reserve is balking at the higher price, The New York Times said, citing people involved in the talks.

From NPR reports and The Associated Press

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