Bear Stearns Chairman James Cayne on Thursday sold his holdings in the embattled investment bank ahead of its expected acquisition by JPMorgan Chase.
Cayne sold 5.66 million shares for exactly $10.84 a share for $61.3 million. However, it was not known if those shares were dumped into the open market or if Cayne sold them to another party.
A spokesman for Bear Stearns would not comment on the sale.
JPMorgan has offered about $10 per share in its acquisition of Bear Stearns. That was increased from the original offer of $2 per share amid speculation that major shareholders would not accept the deal on those terms.
Shares of Bear Stearns have traded above the prices offered since the deal was announced as some investors felt a rival bid might be in the offing. There has also been speculation that Cayne might try and muster a competitive offer with Joseph Lewis, a billionaire financier who is Bear Stearns' second-largest shareholder.
Telephone calls to Lewis were not immediately returned.