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Up the Ante

The drama over JP Morgan Chase’s deal to acquire Bear Stearns for $2 per share has taken a major turn, with the Bank upping the bid to $10 per share. The move was meant to calm shareholders who, rightfully, felt that the deal was jammed by Washington. When the once venerable Bear Stearns was first declared dead, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon had himself a very good deal. He could bask in the kudos he would receive for his swift and shrewd moves. Well, the subsequent uproar had its effect and the bid has been raised. Clearly, Dimon recognized that he might not win a shareholder vote. The problem here is that approximately one-third of Bear’s stock is owned by employees, so this is much bigger than a Bear Stearns collapse; it’s a personal disaster for a lot of people. Adding insult to injury, Dimon called the CEOs of Bear Stearns’ competitors and pleaded with them not to recruit anyone during the transition. Does that seem fair to you?

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
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