Billionaire Lewis Loses $1.16B On Bear Stakes

03/28/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Katherine Burton and Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam Bloomberg

Joseph Lewis, the billionaire investor who bought 9.4 percent of Bear Stearns Cos. last year, lost $1.16 billion on his stake after JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to buy the securities firm for $2 a share.

Lewis, the New York-based firm's second-largest holder, paid an average of about $107 apiece for 11 million shares, according to a filing submitted last year to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The stake has plunged 98 percent in value since the purchases. Bear's biggest investor at year-end was money manager Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss Inc., whose 9.7 percent holding has fallen by $991 million.

New York-based JPMorgan, the third-largest U.S. bank, said yesterday it will pay about $240 million for Bear, which was crippled last week after clients pulled money and investors balked at trading with the firm because of losses on its subprime-mortgage holdings. Bear's market value was $13.6 billion at Nov. 30, the end of its fiscal year.