WaMu took TPG deal over JPMorgan's $7 bln offer -WSJ

miércoles 9 de abril de 2008 06:45 CEST

NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters) - Washington Mutual Inc (WM.N: Cotización) had received an initial takeover bid of about $7 billion from JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Cotización) while it was working on the TPG [TPG.UL] cash infusion deal, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the situation.

The bid was for as much as $8 a share in JPMorgan stock, the Journal said, citing those people. The report added that WaMu's side called the bid "fuzzy" and worth much less than $8 a share.

It has already been reported that the two companies had been in talks and that JPMorgan made a preliminary offer, but discussions broke off last week.

On Tuesday, Seattle-based WaMu said that it got a $7 billion capital injection from investors led by private equity firm TPG, effectively ending the possibility of being bought by JPMorgan.

Citing people familiar with the talks, the Journal said that WaMu Chief Executive Kerry Killinger called JPMorgan Chief Executive James Dimon around the time JPMorgan was involved in the Bear Stearns BSC.N deal.

Killinger told Dimon that WaMu was significantly short on capital and that he was willing to talk to corporate buyers and private equity firms, the report said, citing people familiar with the talks.

After studying WaMu's financial records, JPMorgan turned in the initial offer last week, the Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the situation, adding that top executives at the bank were surprised to hear that WaMu was about to announce the TPG deal instead.

JPMorgan and WaMu representatives were not available immediately for comment.