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Investors in the troubled US securities firm Bear Stearns have challenged the offer made for it by JPMorgan, it has been reported.
They are asking for a higher price than the $10 a share currently offered and filed papers requesting a judge delay the bank’s plans to issue 95 million new voting shares.
Lawyer Pamela Tikellis, who filed the papers, said: "The lock up stock sale is designed primarily, if not solely, to eviscerate the voting franchise of the current Bear Stearns stockholders.”
The bank is a casualty of the credit crunch and a lack of customer confidence, which led investors to withdraw money from its accounts.
A global shortage of funds made it difficult for Bear Stearns to borrow from other lenders, who were worried it had lent too much money to sub-prime borrowers.
The Telegraph recently reported that more than a third of Bear Stearns’ staff inoffices in London could lose their jobs.