Bear Stearns said yes to being bought by JPMorgan Chase for less than $250 million, both firms said, according to published reports. Reports said that the all-stock deal puts Bear value at roughly $2 a share, based on JPMorgan's closing stock price last Friday, the banks reported. By contrast, Bear Stearns shares, which dipped $27 on Friday, closed at $30, said reports. JPMorgan stated that it will guarantee Bear's trading obligations as well as its subsidiaries, said the reports. The discussions between the companies, which were overseen by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, were rushed to reach a deal before stock markets opened in Asia at 8 p.m., Sunday Eastern time, said the reports. The companies' announcement said that the Federal Reserve would provide special financing for the transaction and that the Fed had agreed to fund up to $30 billion of Bear's less-liquid assets, said the reports. JPMorgan's bid represents a 97.5% discount to the $80 book value that Bears stated, reports said. JPMorgan seems to believe that Bear is worth far less than the value of the troubled firm's headquarters located in Midtown Manhattan, which is reportedly worth about $1 billion, the reports said. Bear Stearns was No. 12 in the public ABS manager rankings for 2007, according to the ASR Scorecard Database. Bear sold $30.88 billion and had a 4.7% market share. It was in 13th place in 2006 with $36.16 billion in deals and a 4.6% market share.
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