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Deutsche sole European bank to bid for Bear Stearns

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10:16 CET+01:00
Deutsche Bank was the only big European bank to bid for Bear Stearns in last week's fire sale and it might get another shot as shareholders balk at the takeover by JP Morgan Chase.

The biggest German bank stayed in the bidding until late in the process, the business daily Handelsblatt reported on Thursday, citing financial industry sources.

Over the weekend, JP Morgan Chase agreed to buy Bear Stearns for a bargain price of two dollars per share – far below their close on Friday of $30 – to avert collapse of the 86-year-old institution.

According to Handelsblatt, Deutsche Bank might still get a chance to buy Bear Stearns because shareholders in the US investment bank have staged a revolt against the cut-rate deal with JP Morgan Chase.

The New York banking giant got backing from the US Federal Reserve for its rescue of Bear Stearns and shares in the investment bank closed on Wednesday at $5.33.

British billionaire Joe Lewis, a major shareholder, and former Bear Stearns chief executive James Cayne were now reportedly working to block JP Morgan Chase's takeover and might invite rival bidders to make fresh offers.

According to the Financial Times, Lewis and a number of Bear Stearns staff who own equity in the bank were set to vote against the JP Morgan Chase deal. The New York Post reported that Lewis had contacted several investment funds and banks including Barclays, HSBC, Credit Suisse and Royal Bank of Scotland.

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